A Long Island man pleaded guilty Thursday to owing child support in excess of $1.2 million.
Authorities call him the “world’s number one deadbeat parent” as the amount covers two child support orders and includes multiple penalties and interest charges.
The money is for three children from two different marriages.
Robert Sand has not paid the child support in ten years.
After the amount got to be too much, Sand attempted to flee. First, he went to Florida. Then, he went to Thailand. But his journey came to an end when he was deported.
When Sand left Thailand, he flew to the Philippines. It was in the Philippines where authorities arrested him for lacking proper identification. They sent him to Los Angeles, where federal marshals arrested him and extradited him to New York, where he has been since December.
“He had enough and wanted to come back and have the opportunity to make it right,” his attorney, Glenn Obedin, said.
He now faces four years in prison.
“Neither court orders nor the familial bond meant anything to him as he fled to avoid his obligations,” US Attorney Loretta Lynch said.
The mothers were not in court at the time of his proceeding, but told Sand’s lawyer that they want him to be free so he can earn a living and repay his debt. His plea agreement states he is required to make full restitution, and Sand has waived his right to appeal the guilty plea.
Sand allegedly has a job waiting for him in car sales, as he used to work as a car salesman.
His mother has faith he can get back on his feet.
“I’m very glad he’s back in the [US]. He made a terrible mistake leaving the country. He’s not a bad guy, he just got caught up in that spider web of whatever the system is,” Sand’s mother said.