No. 1 Deadbeat Parent: What Is Robert Sand Guilty Of?
No. 1 deadbeat parent Robert Sand pleaded guilty on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Central Islip on Long Island to two counts of owing more than $1.2 million in child support to three children from two failed marriages, according to reports.
Federal officials who have been on the 50-year-old Sand's trail have dubbed him as the country's No. 1 deadbeat parent because his child support payments, which were issued on Long Island, have been behind since at least 2002. As the New York Daily News notes, prosecutors indicted Sand in 2009 on two counts of failure to pay child support and he has been repeatedly slapped with arrest warrants since 1996 for failing to comply with court orders before fleeing to Thailand where he sold motorcycles for a living.
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Sand told the judge that he first fled to Florida and then to Thailand where he had worked multiple odd jobs, before going to the Philippines. Once there, Sand was arrested, taken into custody and then deported in November 2012 because he lacked proper identification. He was finally sent to Los Angeles, where federal marshals arrested him and then took him into custody, and then extradited to New York, where he has been held without bail since December.
Sand's attorney, Glenn Obedin, said the No. 1 deadbeat parent had grown tired of living on the run and contacted authorities late last year.
"He had enough and wanted to come back and have the opportunity to make it right," Obedin told reporters after the court proceeding on Long Island.
Sand faces up to four years in prison when he is sentenced in May.
Former wife Lisa Sand told the Daily News that she hopes the judge goes lightly on him, despite him being the No. 1 deadbeat dad.
"He's not good to me in jail," she said. "He needs to work to start paying back."
Lisa Sand and the other mother of Sand's kids weren't in court for Thursday's proceeding, but Obedin said that he has contacted them and claimed their priority is for Sand to be free to earn a living so he can repay his the child support. As part of the plea agreement, Sand is required to make full restitution.
Obedin also said that Sand has worked in the past as a car salesman and has an offer to work in that field when he's released.
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