Former Moody’s top lawyer pleads guilty in tax case

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Boonchai Wedmakawand | Moment | Getty Images

A former longtime general counsel to Moody’s has pleaded guilty to willfully failing to file federal income tax returns, federal prosecutors in New Jersey said Friday.

John Goggins, who stepped down as Moody’s senior vice president and general counsel last fall, earned $54 million between 2018 and 2021 and failed to file federal income taxes during those years, the New Jersey U.S. attorney’s office said.

Goggins pleaded guilty on Thursday before a federal magistrate judge in Newark, New Jersey, prosecutors said. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 6.

“Mr. Goggins deeply regrets and accepts full responsibility for failing to file certain personal income tax returns,” Christopher Ferguson, a lawyer for Goggins, said in a statement. “This is a personal matter that has nothing to do with his work at Moody’s.”

Goggins retired from Moody’s in September after more than two decades and was replaced as general counsel by Richard Steele. A spokesperson for Moody’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ferguson said Goggins has paid $3.2 million in outstanding taxes, interest and penalties due in connection with his misdemeanor offenses “and looks forward to putting this situation behind him.”

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