Whether in Arizona or another jurisdiction, it is a federal crime to leave the United States for the purpose of avoiding the payment of child support. One man from a northeastern state allegedly fled the country six years ago to skip out on child support and other marital obligations. When he recently returned, federal officials were waiting for him at the airport with an arrest warrant.
The case has made national news because it has been reported the man owes approximately $1.6 million in overdue child support payments. That sum is said to be the highest amount of outstanding child support owed throughout the country. At the time he left the country, he was reportedly making $280,000 annually as an anesthesiologist, owner of several pain management clinics and owner of a phone-card company.
Married with three children under the age of 10 in Jan. 2006, the man is said to have disappeared while the family was on vacation in Hong Kong. He is also accused of having sold the marital home in New York without his wife’s knowledge, fleeing with the cash after liquidating all of his assets. The wife subsequently filed for divorce, only to learn the man was already remarried and living in Bangladesh after purportedly having obtained a divorce there.
A federal judge has set bail on the child support charges at $500,000. At last report, the accused man was still incarcerated in Virginia, unable to post the bail. As the criminal case now works its way through the federal court system, it underscores both the importance of child support and the benefit in handling those responsibilities responsibly. Those in Arizona who willfully disregard court orders concerning these payments ultimately expose themselves to a far greater penalty than any financial pinch the payments would have created.
Source: New York Post, “Feds bust country’s worst deadbeat dad, who owes $1.6M,” Brad Hamilton, Nov. 3, 2012