A New York man called the “No. 1 deadbeat parent” by prosecutors pleaded guilty on Thursday to owing over $1.2 million in child support.
In an appearance in the U.S. District Court in Central Islip, N.Y., Robert Sand, 50, of Syosset, pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to pay child support for three children from two failed marriages.
The child support figure cited by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Bode includes interest and penalties that have accrued for the past 11 years, the Associated Press said.
Sand told the judge that he had fled to Florida and then to Thailand, where he was eventually arrested and extradited. Sand’s attorney, Glenn Obedin, said his client had turned himself in late last year after growing weary of living in hiding.
Sand reportedly worked at a series of odd jobs during his stint in Thailand, before flying to the Philippines. Prosecutors said he was arrested and deported by Philippine officials in November for lacking the proper ID. He was then flown to Los Angeles, and then extradited to New York, where he has been held without bail for the past three months. He faces up to four years in prison, when he's sentenced in May.
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"He had enough and wanted to come back and have the opportunity to make it right," Obedin said outside of court on Thursday.
His ex-wife, Lisa Sand, said that she hopes the judge doesn’t give him too harsh of a sentence. “He’s not good to me in jail,” she told the New York Daily News. “He needs to work to start paying back.”
U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement, "Neither court orders nor the familial bond meant anything to him as he fled to avoid his obligations."
Sand has been ordered to make full restitution, and waived his right to an appeal, as part of his plea agreement. His attorney said that if Sand is released from jail, he would have a job offer as a car salesman.