Court records show 48-year-old John Goodman adopted Heather Hutchins in October.
Goodman is charged with DUI manslaughter in Florida, and the parents of the victim have filed a $100 million wrongful death suit. Their attorneys claim the adoption is a legal maneuver to shield Goodman's assets.
Goodman has a trust fund for his other two children, but they can't access it until they're 35. By making his girlfriend his daughter, Goodman immediately gave his girlfriend and potentially himself control of part of the fund.
Goodman is the heir to an air conditioning fortune in Houston. His attorney says the adoption was done to assure the stability of Goodman's investments, not because of the lawsuit.
A judge already ruled jurors in the civil trial should not be told about the trust fund.
Read more about this story on CultureMap Houston.