A jewelry store security guard turned diamond thief is between a rock and a hard place.
He’ll be doing five years in prison, a Henrico County judge said this week, and he’s simultaneously undergoing divorce proceedings.
To make matters worse, Edward S. Goodman will go without the Chinese food that he spent much of his ill-gotten gains to consume.
“He seemed to have a fondness for Hunan,” said a person close to the investigation of Goodman’s thievery, which dates to 2006.
But for Adolf Jewelers owner Ronnie Adolf, Goodman’s demise has left a far more empty feeling in his wallet than the empty feeling in Goodman’s stomach.
In court proceedings, investigators placed Adolf’s loss at almost $600,000.
“It was absolute betrayal, a betrayal of all of us,” said Adolf, whose store is at 1537 N. Parham Road in the Ridge Shopping Center.
“This was a man whose arrest had customers sending us sympathy cards, they were so shocked. His mother used to send us breakfast in the mornings. We were all here together every day. It was one big family.”
. . .
Goodman, 42, was sentenced Thursday on embezzlement, larceny and computer-fraud convictions, all linked to his diamond heists.
Goodman’s girth and Fu Manchu mustache made him a familiar figure to jewelry store customers, many of whom stopped by, Adolf said, “just to chat with him.”
But for reasons still unclear, Goodman began swiping diamonds. He erased his pilferage from security tapes and even managed to erase computer records of legitimate sales.
“We trusted him like family and he stole my password,” Adolf said. “We couldn’t figure what was happening, where the profits were going. Was it the economy? Competition? It turned out it was Edward. The profits were going to him.”
Goodman, who lived in New Kent County and had worked for Adolf for 12 years, apparently tried to start a gun-sales business with some of his money, but that went belly-up.
“Things were so bad he was borrowing money from me at the same time he was stealing,” Adolf said.
. . .
R.L. Egan, a Henrico investigator who worked the case, said Goodman swiped as many as 100 diamonds, only 15 of which were recovered. That left Adolf Jewelers with a $593,000 loss, which a court this week ordered Goodman to repay. Adolf said he had insurance but that it did not cover the total loss.
Many diamonds were sold on eBay, where Goodman used the name “lawdragster,” Egan said. But Goodman made the error of listing each diamond’s certification number so he could assure its authenticity.
“He also refused to drop his price, which gave him a lot of legitimacy with buyers,” Egan said.
The certification numbers showed the diamonds were from Adolf. Case closed.
A SWAT team arrested the unsuspecting Goodman at work in June.
Adolf said Goodman never apologized. He pleaded no contest to the embezzlement and other charges in December and was sent to jail without bond.
Divorce papers delivered to him in jail list his arrest date as the day he deserted his family.
And after he serves his time in prison, Goodman will be on probation. For life.
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