No prison for former Palm Beach socialite

By Chuck Weber - bio | email

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Former Palm Beach socialite Lin Gosman finally learned her fate Thursday. At the end of her sentencing hearing at the Federal Courthouse in downtown West Palm Beach, Gosman got to return home instead of going to prison.

Gosman is the wife of former healthcare magnate Abe Gosman. The couple is now separated. Prosecutors say during Mr. Gosman's bankruptcy, Lin violated court orders -- hiding cash overseas and stashing jewelry, furniture and other valuables -- to keep them away from Abe's creditors.

In April Mrs. Gosman pleaded guilty to tax, bankruptcy and mortgage fraud. Her original sentencing hearing in July ran long.

At the resumption of the hearing Thursday, Mrs. Gosman read a statement at times in tears. She told Judge Kenneth Ryskamp, "To protect myself, I panicked."

Gosman's lawyers, Donald Bierman and Edward Shohat, maintained their client had already suffered financially and through humiliation. They asked for no prison time.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn Bell countered, Gosman's actions were not the result of panic, but a deliberate effort to hide assets. Bell urged Judge Ryskamp to send a message and give Gosman the three years in prison spelled out by sentencing guidelines.

But Judge Ryskamp, who repeatedly questioned the government's case against Gosman, said sending the woman to prison would serve no purpose. He gave Gosman only the 28 days in jail she served after her arrest. The judge put Gosman on house arrest for two years, to be followed by a year of probation. On house arrest, Gosman can leave for work or charity activities.

"I owe a great deal of thankfulness to Judge Kenneth Ryskamp for really seeing through all of this," expressed Mrs. Gosman. "Maybe, now, I can try to restructure my life again."

"This is a just result," concurred Gosman attorney Bierman. "She has been penalized very much financially, emotionally."