His own foray into the industry began in the 1990s when he and his wife, Judith, began buying, selling and managing ALFs in South Florida.
He bought Salmo 23 in 1994 for $125,000, and sold the Hialeah home a decade later for $700,000. In 1998, Godinez paid $400,000 for an unlicensed ALF in Hialeah, renovated the 48-bed home, called Alpha & Omega, obtained a license and sold it four years later for $1.4 million.
Godinez bought his two biggest prizes Grand Court Village I and II about three months before he was indicted. Until September 2008, he also owned Grand Court Lakes, a Miami ALF with 140 beds.
THE DRUG CAPER
Court records and prosecutors say Godinezs dabblings in the prescription drug trade were far more profitable. Though his 1999 federal tax return listed a family income of $70,000 his income grew to $100,000 the next year the family had extravagant expenses on such luxury items as a $74,382 Hummer and a 50-foot Hatteras yacht, prosecutor Oscar Gelpi said in court earlier this month.
When Godinez was arrested in 2003, Floridas top statewide prosecutor called the rings crimes horrific. Conspirators, the state said, created four bogus drug wholesalers that shipped diluted and sometimes phony drugs by UPS to chain pharmacies throughout Florida and other states, including Maryland, Texas and Missouri. In some cases, the ring shipped bottles of chalk and tap water to terminally ill patients, investigators said.
The investigation was sparked by the theft of $250,000 worth of Epogen, a drug for kidney dialysis patients, from Miamis Jackson Memorial, the countys struggling public hospital.
Investigators say Godinez and at least 17 others stole or bought brand-name drugs sometimes illegally paying Medicaid recipients for the medications diluted and relabeled them, and then sold them with false documentation, or pedigrees, to chain pharmacies such as Walgreens and Eckerd, private dealers and directly to consumers. Hundreds of elders and poor people on Medicaid were victimized, investigators said.
Its not a garden-variety case, Broward Circuit Judge Jeffrey Levinson said of the 100-page indictment at a hearing in early September.
Nicknamed Farm Boy by his cronies, Godinez owned a nursery where, investigators charge, runners picked up bags and boxes of cancer drugs that were delivered to an alleged ringleader.
I have evidence that he sold large amounts of pharmaceuticals. I dont know where they came from. And I have no evidence that he obtained one dollar of them legally, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agent Gary Venema said in a sworn statement.
In all, Venema said, the ring netted about $20 million.
And some of that went to Godinez. He said that he had a profit of a million dollars selling HIV and schizophrenia drugs to the groups alleged ringleader, a former colleague testified against Godinez in pre-trial depositions.
Jane Glatz, whose mother died of a broken leg, said she never knew that the owner of her mothers ALF stood accused of being part of a massive fraud scheme. If I had known about this man way back in 2003, there would have been a major change, she said.
I would have been seeking another facility, Glatz added. I would have been up and out absolutely.