News and Press Releases

Most Wanted “Deadbeat Parent” Pleads Guilty to Flight To Evade over $1.2 Million in Child Support Obligations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2013

Defendant Was a Fugitive for More Than a Decade

Earlier today, defendant Robert D. Sand, the nation’s “Most Wanted Deadbeat Parent” according to a child support enforcement web page, pleaded guilty to two counts of traveling in interstate and foreign commerce with the intent to evade child support obligations totaling over $1.2 million. The proceedings were held before the Honorable Joseph F. Bianco at the United States Courthouse located in Central Islip, New York. Sand faces a maximum sentence of 4 years’ imprisonment when sentenced on May 21, 2013.

The guilty plea was announced by Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Thomas O’Donnell, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Regional Office, Office of the Inspector General, United States Department of Health and Human Services (“OIG-DHHS”) and Charles Dunne, United States Marshal for the Eastern District of New York.

As part of his plea, Sand admitted that he initially relocated from New York to Florida and then fled the United States in order to evade his support obligations following the issuance of arrest warrants in 2000 and 2002. Sand admitted that he had spent much of the past decade in the Kingdom of Thailand where he operated a business. Sand was arrested in late November 2012, upon entering the Republic of the Philippines from Thailand without proper identification documents, and on December 17, 2012, he was deported to Los Angeles, where he was taken into custody by deputies with the United States Marshals Service. During the time Sand was a fugitive, his support obligations continued to grow. At the time of his arrest, Sand owed more than $1.2 Million in back child support.

According to a complaint filed in federal court on April 8, 2002, the New York State Family Court in Nassau County issued an arrest warrant for Sand on November 22, 2000, following multiple contempt findings against him in child support proceedings. A federal arrest warrant was issued for Sand on April 8, 2002. On September 17, 2009, an indictment was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York charging Sand with two counts of failure to pay child support, and on February 17, 2010, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Sand’s arrest.

In January 2012, OIG-DHHS launched a child support enforcement web page (http://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/child-support-enforcement/) to seek the public’s help in ongoing federal efforts to bring fugitive “deadbeat parents” to justice. Sand was listed on the site as the number one “Most Wanted Deadbeat Parent” based upon his child support obligations that allegedly totaled more than $1 million.

“Today, the defendant has admitted to abandoning his responsibilities to the children he helped bring into this world, and to leaving the country to do so. Neither court orders nor the familial bond meant anything to him as he fled to avoid his obligations. Today’s guilty plea stands as a strong warning to those who would flee their lawful child support obligations that we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “Neither time, nor distance, will prevent the vigorous pursuit by law enforcement to bring them to justice.” Ms. Lynch expressed her grateful appreciation to the Office of the Inspector General, United States Department of Health and Human Services and the United States Marshals Service for their assistance in this case.

The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Allen Bode.

The Defendant:

Name: ROBERT D. SAND
Age: 50

 


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