Robert Sand, labeled the nation's worst deadbeat dad, owes the money for the three kids he fathered with two ex-wives, say prosecutors
Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 10:22 PM
Most-wanted deadbeat dad Robert Sand. His mother, Rita, says 'he's not a bad guy.'
The long arm of the law has reached halfway across the world to nab a Long Island man who the feds say is the nation’s worst deadbeat dad.
Robert Sand owes more than $1 million in child support for the three kids he fathered with two ex-wives, according to prosecutors who have been on the fugitive’s trail since 2002.
Sand, 50, had been living in Thailand but got into trouble last month when he traveled to the Philippines without the proper identity papers and was taken into custody.
The U.S. doesn’t have an extradition agreement with Thailand, but the government of the Philippines was more than happy to deport the deadbeat. Federal marshals took Sand into custody Tuesday after he arrived on a flight to Los Angeles.
Sand has left a lot of bad blood behind, but still has his mother in his corner — even though she concedes he’s a deadbeat like his own father.
“I’m very glad he’s back in the U.S.A.,” Rita Sand, 78, told the Daily News. “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,” she said.
Federal prosecutors indicted Sand in 2009 on two counts of failure to pay child support. He has been slapped with arrest warrants repeatedly since 1996 for failing to comply with court orders before fleeing to Thailand where he sold motorcycles for a living.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services termed him the “most wanted deadbeat parent” on its website.
Back in the 1990s, Sand was earning $500,000 to $600,000 a year running automobile auctions. He and ex-wife Lisa lived in a mansion in Old Brookville before the business and their marriage went kaput, his mother said. The couple’s two daughters are adults now.
Sand’s second wife, who asked not to be identified, said he owes her about $400,000 in support for their daughter.
“I think he should be locked up for a long time,” the ex-wife said. “He was a terrible role model, so I think it benefited us not having him around.”
Rita Sand said her son would occasionally call her on her birthday or around Mother’s Day, but he didn’t discuss his situation in detail.
“I told him to stick it out, that you can’t get blood from a stone, but he said he didn’t have that kind of money to pay,” Rita Sand said.
“The government wanted to make an example out of him,” she added.
Sand was arraigned before a magistrate judge in Riverside, Calif., and will be returned to Long Island Federal Court in the next two weeks.
“He’s happy to be back and is looking forward to the opportunity to address these outstanding issues,” said defense lawyer Glenn Obedin.