- Prosecutors say Robert Sand spent more than a decade evading his obligations to pay
- HHS launched a website to get public's help in finding fugitive "deadbeat parents"
- He faces up to four years imprisonment; sentencing is scheduled for May 21
A New York man the federal government dubbed the nation's "Most Wanted Deadbeat Parent" has pleaded guilty to evading $1.2 million in child support payments.
Prosecutors said Thursday that Robert Sand, 50, spent more than a decade evading his obligations to his three children by his two former wives.
He admitted to relocating from New York to Florida and then fleeing the country after arrest warrants in 2000 and 2002 were issued, according to Loretta. E. Lynch, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
In November, Sand was arrested while trying to enter the Philippines without proper identification and was deported to Los Angeles, where he was taken into custody by U.S. marshals.
In the past decade, Sand ran a business in Thailand, accumulating fees that eventually totaled more than $1 million in back child support.
In January 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched a website to get the public's help in finding and bringing fugitive "deadbeat parents" to justice. Sand was listed as the No. 1 suspected offender based on the amount he owed.
Authorities say Sand previously had been arrested in Thailand and charged with possession of a false British passport.
In early 2010, a federal warrant was issued for his 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," Lynch said. "Neither court orders nor the familial bond meant anything to him as he fled to avoid his obligations."
Sand faces up to four years imprisonment. Sentencing is scheduled for May 21.
His attorney did not immediately respond to inquiries for comment.