Former top lawyer Moody's pleads guilty in tax case

The Moody's Corporation logo was photographed at the company's headquarters in Lower Manhattan, NY.

Ramin Talaie | Corbis Historical | Getty Images

A former general counsel of Moodys has pleaded guilty to willfully failing to file federal income tax returns, federal prosecutors in New Jersey said Friday.

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

Goggins pleaded guilty Thursday before a federal magistrate judge in Newark, New Jersey, prosecutors said. He will be sentenced on September 6.

“Mr. Goggins deeply regrets and accepts full responsibility for failing to file certain personal income tax returns,” Christopher Ferguson, an attorney 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 Moody's spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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

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