Most Wanted Deadbeat Dad BaggedLike the old saying goes, you can run, but you can't hide. Not even in Thailand. Especially if you're a deadbeat.
This week federal prosecutors arrested a New York man accused of being the "World's Most Wanted Deadbeat Dad" in Los Angeles, after stepping off a plane from the Philippines. He is reported to owe $1.2 million in child support payments for - get this - three children from two marriages.
Robert Sand, 50, originally from Nassau County, New York, climbed up the U.S. Inspector General's Office's "Most Wanted Deadbeat" list by failing to pay millions of dollars in mandatory child support payments, according to information from the office. He was first ordered to pay child support in 1996. Warrants for Sand's arrest were issued in 2000, 20002, and 2010, after he failed to pay the money, but Sand eluded federal officials for years by skipping the country. He lived on the lam in southeast Asia under a fake British passport until this week, according to authorities.
After moving from New York to Florida, and then to Thailand, Sand was finally arrested by U.S. Marshals at Los Angeles International Airport after a flight from the Philippines. He was extradited to the U.S. by Philippine authorities after he had previously been arrested for using a fake British passport in Thailand.
Now, according to a story published in the New York Daily News, Sand wants a third chance.
"I want to be a good dad in the future," Sand told the paper in an exclusive jailhouse interview.
The 50-year-old father of three had been hiding out for years in Thailand to evade multiple court orders to support the children he fathered with his two ex-wives. Sand faces up to four years in prison if convicted of failing to meet his obligations. He said he wants to be reunited with the kids he skipped out on, and apparently assumed journalists at the Los Angeles County jail to interview him were his now adult children, there to visit their father.
"Of course I want to see them (his children), I thought you might be them," Sand reportedly said. "I was hoping they were here to visit me."
Sand told The Daily News he didn't expect the courts to have much sympathy for his position.
"People already know how I am," he said. "They've made up their minds."
According to reports, Sand and his first wife Lisa lived in an Old Brookville, Long Island mansion in the 1990s, earning more than a half million dollars a year from an automobile auction business. Their two daughters are now adults.
Sand and his second wife also had a daughter, plus he fathered a son with another woman in Thailand, reports show. His fourth child is not involved in the child case.
Sand didn't pay child support to his first wife, but reportedly send her a Rolex watch, and his mother, Rita Sand, designer eyeglasses from overseas, she told the The Daily News. The gifts turned out to be fake, she said.
There were also reports circulating around the family Sand perished in the 2004 tsunami that struck Thailand. That also turned out to be false.
"I'm glad [Lisa] was wrong about that," Rita Sand said. "Now we can bring him to justice."
Sand is expected to be returned to Long Island federal court for an arraignment Jan. 16.