'No. 1 deadbeat parent' in jail after 11 years on the run

No. 1 deadbeat parent: The New York dad who prosecutors call the 'No. 1 deadbeat parent' pleaded guilty Thursday to owing more than $1.2 million to three children from two failed marriages.

  • close
    Robert Sand, labeled the 'No. 1 deadbeat parent' by prosecutors, pleaded guilty today to owing more than $1.2 million to three children from two failed marriages.
    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services / AP Photo
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

A New York man once dubbed by prosecutors as the government's most-wanted deadbeat parent pleaded guilty Thursday to owing more than $1.2 million to three children from two failed marriages.

Robert Sand, 50, pleaded guilty in US District Court in Central Islip on Long Island to two counts of failing to pay child support. Assistant US Attorney Alan Bode said in court that the child support orders, which were issued on Long Island, have been in arrears since at least 2002.

The figure cited by Mr. Bode includes interest and penalties. The prosecutor declined to comment to reporters after the court proceeding.

Mr. Sand told the judge he fled first to Florida and then to Thailand. Sand's attorney, Glenn Obedin, said his client had grown tired of living on the run and contacted authorities late last year.

Sand left Thailand, where he had worked in an assortment of odd jobs, and flew to the Philippines. He was arrested and then deported from the Philippines in November 2012 because he lacked proper identification, prosecutors said. He was sent to Los Angeles, where he was arrested by federal marshals, and then extradited to New York, where he has been held without bail since December.

"He had enough and wanted to come back and have the opportunity to make it right," Mr. Obedin told reporters after the court proceeding on Long Island.

Sand faces up to four years in prison when he is sentenced in May.

"Neither court orders nor the familial bond meant anything to him as he fled to avoid his obligations," US Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement.

The two mothers of Sand's three children were not in the courtroom for Thursday's proceeding, but Obedin has said he has contacted them and claimed their priority is for Sand to be free to earn a living so he can repay his debt. As part of the plea agreement, Sand is required to make full restitution. He waived his right to appeal the guilty plea.

Obedin said Sand has worked in the past as a car salesman and has an offer to work in that field when he is released.

Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.