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Robert Sand, No. 1 "deadbeat parent," pleads guilty to owing more than $1.2 million to three kids

Robert Sand / AP Photo/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
AP Photo/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Robert Sand
AP Photo/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

(CBS/AP) CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A New York man dubbed by prosecutors as the government's most wanted deadbeat parent pleaded guilty Thursday to owing more than $1.2 million to three children from two failed marriages.

Robert Sand, 50, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Central Islip on Long Island to two counts of failing to pay child support. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Bode said the figure includes interest and penalties, and that the child support orders were in arrears since at least 2002.

"Neither court orders nor the familial bond meant anything to him as he fled to avoid his obligations," U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said in a statement.

Sand told the judge he fled first to Florida and then to Thailand, where he worked in an assortment of odd jobs. His attorney, Glenn Obedin, said his client grew tired of living on the run and contacted authorities late last year.

Sand then flew to the Philippines, where he was arrested and deported in November 2012 because he lacked proper identification, prosecutors said. He was sent to Los Angeles, where he was arrested by federal marshals, and then extradited to New York, where he was held without bail since December 2012.

"He had enough and wanted to come back and have the opportunity to make it right," Obedin said.

Sand faces up to four years in prison when he is sentenced in May.

Obedin said Sand contacted the two mothers of his three children, who claimed that their priority is for Sand to be free to earn a living so he can repay his debt. As part of the plea agreement, Sand is required to make full restitution. He waived his right to appeal the guilty plea.

Obedin said Sand has worked in the past as a car salesman and has an offer to work in that field when he is released.