LANSING, Mich., June 17, 2004 – LAWFUEL – Ten Michigan parents owing more
than $270,000 in unpaid child support received an unwelcome surprise when they
were arrested Tuesday for felony unpaid child support, Attorney General Mike
Cox announced today.
“Parents have an ultimate responsibility to support their children,
especially when they have the means to do so,” Cox said. “These deadbeat
parents will be held accountable for their debts to their children and now
must make a choice: pay up or serve time.”
The nine men and one woman were arrested in Genesee County on Tuesday in a
cooperative effort by the Attorney General’s office, the Genesee County Friend
of the Court and the Genesee County Sheriff Department. All told, they owe
$271,054.18 in unpaid child support to a total of 14 recipients and will be
charged with felony non-support, a crime punishable by up to four years in
prison. More than $7 billion is owed in unpaid child support statewide, an
arrearage accrued through decades of non-custodial parents who chronically
ignore court orders to provide support for their kids.
The child support division of the Attorney General’s office, which Cox
created in April, 2003, has collected more than $4 million for Michigan’s
kids. Separately, Cox formed the PayKids Foundation, a nonprofit corporation
funded by corporate sponsors, to help address the epidemic of unpaid child
support in Michigan through a public awareness campaign.
The PayKids initiative includes the placement of billboards across the
state and the promotion of the http://PAYKIDS.COM Web site and 866-PAY-KIDS, a
toll-free number to assist those children and custodial parents who need help.