Get The Goods On Meaning
(idiomatic) To acquire knowledge or develop evidence that reveals the truth about someone's character or behavior, especially criminal behavior.
Example: 1914, Peter B. Kyne, The Long Chance, ch. 19:
"Bob, they've got the goods on you. There's a warrant out."
1921, William MacLeod Raine, Tangled Trails, ch. 10:
"You've got the goods on me. I can't deny I'm the man the police are lookin' for."
1922, B. M. Bower, The Trail of the White Mule, ch. 14:
"With marked money and marked bottles, we ought to be able to get the goods on that gang."
2000 April 6, Alexander Walker, "Erin Brockovich" (film review), London Evening Standard (UK) (retrieved 22 Nov 2011):
And the film shows how mother-care can be more convincing than a legal brief in getting the goods on the corporate villains.
2002 Sept. 26, "California Culprits" (editorial), New York Times (retrieved 22 Nov 2011):
[T]he state's flawed deregulation scheme practically invited unscrupulous behavior. Still, it's encouraging that Washington is finally getting the goods on the manipulators.