The man labeled the "No. 1 Deadbeat Parent" has pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to pay child support. He currently owes over $1.2 million in back child support for his three children.
Robert Sand, 50, tried to escape the charges by leaving his home in New York and residing in Florida before then flying to Thailand. He hid out in the country for quite some time before moving once again to the Philippines. Even though Sand thought he would be safe in the Philippines, he ran into trouble when he did not have the proper paperwork to enter the country.
Police in the Philippines took Sand into custody and alerted officials in the United States. He was eventually deported back to New York and immediately taken back into custody on Long Island. Sand has been held without bail since December 2012, given that he was considered a flight risk.
"He had enough and wanted to come back and have the opportunity to make it right," Sand's attorney Glenn Obedin told reporters after the hearing yesterday. Obedin has painted the image of a man tired of living on the run and wanting to do the right thing by his children.
Prosecutors are not convinced, though, and will seek the maximum penalties when he is sentenced for his crimes in May. He could face up to four years in prison in addition to legal fees and the repayment of child support.
"Neither court orders nor the familial bond meant anything to him as he fled to avoid his obligations," U.S. attorney Loretta Lynch told the Associated Press in a statement.
His ex-wives do not want anything to do with him these days and say that their children are better off without him. They have the opportunity to influence the judge's decision and could possibly help set him free so that he can begin working to pay the money owed them.
"I think he should be locked up for a long time," one ex-wife told the New York Daily News. "He was a terrible role model, so I think it benefited us not having him around."
"He's happy to be back and is looking forward to the opportunity to address these outstanding issues," Obedin insisted.