Over $9 Million Collected From Child Support Evaders

Over $9 million in unpaid child support has been collected in the past two years from Los Angeles County’s worst local child support evaders – a small group of parents who go to great lengths to avoid the law and avoid caring for their children by not paying their child support obligations. In March 2008, Supervisor Don Knabe unveiled a new partnership between the County’s Child Support Services Department (CSSD) and the District Attorney’s Office (DA) to criminally prosecute parents who spend years avoiding child support payments. Next month is also the two year anniversary of the County launching the Most Wanted Delinquent Parents website.

In the short time that has passed since partnership was formed between CSSD and the DA, a total of $9,114,669 in unpaid child support has been collected from the most delinquent parents and fully passed on to children and families. Additionally, the court has imposed jail time on 95 child support evaders. Collectively, the jail sentences imposed on these parents add up to 10,195 days behind bars. In virtually every case, these are parents who were given multiple opportunities to comply with criminal court orders but who repeatedly failed to live up to the terms of probation they accepted after conviction or after entering pleas of no contest.

The County uses a team of law enforcement personnel to pursue arrest warrants issued for parents who have been charged with crimes for failing to support their children. Since the program began, prosecutors have referred 2,680 child support arrest and bench warrants to the investigations team for follow up. Investigators have cleared 1,778 warrants by arresting or citing defendants or convincing them to surrender voluntarily in court to avoid arrest. An additional 188 warrants have been cleared by other law enforcement agencies.

In the two years since the County’s Most Wanted Delinquent Parents
website was launched, 33 men and women have been featured on the Most Wanted website, 15 of these 33 defendants have been arrested, 6 more have surrendered to court, and 12 are currently the subjects of active investigation.

The joint CSSD/DA Child Support Arrest Warrant Project was made possible through funding provided by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, on an initiative of Supervisor Knabe. The County’s investment, matched 2 for 1 with funding from the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement, fully underwrites the costs of the law enforcement team.