County To Launch 10 Most Wanted Program For Child Support Evaders

The County of Los Angeles will soon launch a new program, modeled after the FBI’s successful most wanted list, to track down and capture the County’s ten most egregious child support payment evaders. The program will be announced at a press conference on the Temple Street steps of the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration on Tuesday, March 18, 2008, at 9:00 a.m., by Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe, Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, and the Director of the County’s Child Support Services Department, Steven J. Golightly.

The new 10 Most Wanted List features some of the County’s worst child support offenders. The ten individuals, who will be revealed at the press conference, together owe more than $2 million in unpaid child support for 17 children. The individual amounts owed range from $63,000 to over $427,000 per person.

Together these ten evaders owe $2,032,296.90 to their children; these families are struggling to pay their bills because this specific group of parents are choosing to evade or ignore their responsibilities, said Supervisor Knabe. With this new 10 Most Wanted List, the County now has another tool in aggressively tracking down these uncooperative parents.

The County previously had a list of the most wanted delinquent parents, but in the past, the Child Support Services Department (CSSD) had no way of arresting and bringing these offenders to court. That changed last April when Supervisor Knabe created a partnership between CSSD and the Office of the District Attorney to establish the Child Support Arrest Warrant Project. The project is designed to pursue uncooperative parents who evade their child support obligations even after arrest and bench warrants have been issued against them for failing to appear in criminal court. Supervisor Knabe provided $500,000 to assist in funding District Attorney Investigators who will seek out, investigate and arrest these child support evaders.

CSSD has a number of options to pursue the collection of child support payments on behalf of families in need, and always seeks to establish cooperative relationships with the parents required to make payments. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of parents currently in the County’s system that go to great lengths to evade their child support obligations, even after arrest warrants have been issued. There are approximately 1,240 parents with outstanding warrants who fall into this category, and they owe several million dollars in child support payments. Since the use of District Attorney Investigators began on December 4, 2007, 160 of those 1,240 warrants have been cleared.