From U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District
On Friday, 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 Hon. Joseph F. Bianco at the U.S. Courthouse located in Central Islip, New York. Sand faces a maximum sentence of four 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, based in Brooklyn; 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, 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. On Dec. 17, he was deported to Los Angeles, where he was taken into custody by deputies with the U.S. 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 Nov. 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 Sept. 17, 2009, an indictment was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York charging Sand with two counts of failure to pay child support, and on Feb. 17, 2010, a federal arrest warrant was issued for Sand’s arrest.
“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 U.S. Attorney Lynch.