News and Press Releases

Former Lackawanna County Resident Indicted for Willful Failure to Pay Child Support

April 10, 2012

     The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced the indictment of a former Lackawanna County resident for willful failure to pay a child support obligation.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Jacques Kemps, age 49, town of residence unknown, was charged in a one-count indictment by a federal grand jury in Scranton today.

     The indictment charged a violation of the Child Support Recovery Act (CSRA), which makes it a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than two years for the willful failure "to pay a child support obligation with respect to a child who resides in another state, if such obligation has remained unpaid for a period longer than 2 years, or is greater than $ 10,000." The Indictment alleges that Kemps was the subject of Lackawanna County Court ordered child support since 1998 and has failed to make a payment since February 2008. Kemps allegedly owes over $92,000 in child support. He was arrested in Pismo Beach, California.

     If convicted, Kemps faces a term of imprisonment of up to two years and fines of up to $250,000, in addition to restitution equal to the outstanding balance of his child support, currently over $92,000.

     This investigation was conducted by the Office of Inspector General for Health and Human Services, with the assistance of the Pismo Beach (California) Police Department and the Lackawanna County Domestic Relations Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Amy C. Phillips.

An Indictment or Information is not evidence of guilt but simply a description of the charge made by the Grand Jury and/or United States Attorney against a defendant. A charged Defendant is presumed innocent until a jury returns a unanimous finding that the United States has proven the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt or until the defendant has pled guilty to the charges.

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