"Walla Walla Man Sentenced To Probation And Ordered To Pay Over $106,000 For Willfully Failing To Pay Child Support"
Richland, Washington – Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Ty Warren Azeltine, 54, a resident of Walla Walla, was sentenced after having previously pleaded guilty in October, 2013 to Failure to Pay a Child Support Obligation, which is a misdemeanor offense. Senior United States District Court Judge Edward F. Shea sentenced Azeltine to a 30 month term of probation. Judge Shea ordered Azeltine to pay $106,725.23 in restitution, which represents the outstanding child support obligation owed. Judge Shea also ordered Azeltine to actively seek and maintain employment.
According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, Azeltine is a former resident of Alaska and is the father of an 11-year old child, who resides in Alaska. The Superior Court for the State of Alaska ordered Azeltine to make a monthly support payment of $767. Azeltine last made a child support payment in October 2005, which was a wage garnishment from his employment in Alaska. He relocated from Alaska to California, and then to Washington. Azeltine has not made any other payments in furtherance of his child support obligation.
Under federal law, a person can be charged with willfully failing to pay child support if the person resides in another state than his/her child, if the obligation has remained unpaid for more than one year, and if the outstanding obligation exceeds $5,000.
Michael C. Ormsby said, "Individuals may not avoid the obligation to support their children by relocating to a different state. It is a federal crime for a deadbeat parent to flee the jurisdiction where his or her child lives and thereafter refuse to pay child support. The deadbeat parents that do will face federal criminal charges. The law recognizes that children should not be cheated by their own parents."
"Those who refuse to pay child support are shirking their family responsibilities and are breaking federal law," said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Chris Schrank of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. "Our agency will work with the U.S. Attorney's Office as well as our state and local partners to ensure that financial support is made to those in need."
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, with the assistance from the State of Alaska, Department of Revenue, Criminal Investigations Unit and Child Support Services Division. The case was prosecuted by Mary K. Dimke, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.