Additional Prosecutions of Federal Criminal Nonsupport Cases
TO ALL STATE IV-D DIRECTORS
RE: Additional Prosecutions of Federal Criminal Nonsupport Cases
This letter transmits the attached Action Transmittal which
solicits your assistance in identifying additional cases suitable
for federal criminal prosecution for failure to provide child
support under the Child Support Recovery Act of 1992 (CSRA)
(Pub. L. 102-521).
CSRA makes the willful nonpayment of child support a federal
crime if an obligor (1) lives in a different state from his or
her child and (2) has past-due child support greater than $5,000
or which has remained unpaid for more than a year. Last summer,
OCSE and the Department of Justice (DoJ) began an initiative to
establish and/or strengthen channels of communication between
each of the state and local IV-D agencies and its counterpart
United States Attorney's district office regarding CSRA
OCSE's August 15, 1994, Dear Colleague letter [DC-94-48]
requested that states submit an initial wave of cases that were
good candidates for prosecution under CSRA. OCSE is now asking
states to identify a second wave of cases [see attached Action
Transmittal] to help increase CSRA prosecutions throughout the
OCSE seeks cases where great efforts have been made in exhaustion
of all other remedies, where the element of willful nonpayment is
especially well-documented now or could be, and where criminal
prosecution will send a strong message to other absent parents
that enforcement of support obligations is a nationwide priority.
While participation in this special initiative is not a mandate,
OCSE highly encourages each state to participate. Ideally, DoJ
hopes to begin successful prosecutions in each of the ninety-four
U.S. Attorney's districts during 1995. OCSE is ready to accept
cases immediately. We would like to receive all cases for this
wave by July.
As cases are submitted by state IV-D agencies, OCSE will utilize
all available federal databases to check for asset and other
information about the offending party. Then OCSE and DoJ, based
upon review of the newly revised intake form and OCSE's cross
check of the income and other assets available to the obligor,
will select those cases which present the most viable candidates
for prosecution. At that point, we will inform the states which
referred cases were forwarded and the reasons for nonselection of
the cases which were not forwarded.
Once cases have been forwarded to the U.S. Attorney's Office,
the Assistant U.S. Attorney assigned to handle CSRA prosecutions
for that district will contact local child support enforcement
officials directly so that the relationship is firmly established
and preparation for prosecution of the case may begin.
Also, OCSE and DoJ are also committed to continuing our efforts
to expand training and technical assistance efforts for
professionals working on child support enforcement. We will
include workshops on the practical aspects of CSRA actions on
the agendas of national level child support and law enforcement
conferences. To increase public awareness, we will also consider
a variety of outreach efforts for promoting CSRA actions as well
as other facets of the child support enforcement system.
I want to thank you again for your state's continuing efforts
to strengthen the child support enforcement system. Child
support enforcement efforts are continuing along a broad front.
We look forward to working with you on further pursuing the most
egregious avoiders of support responsibilities through this
cooperative effort to step up federal criminal prosecutions.
David Gray Ross
Office of Child Support Enforcement
CC: ACF Regional Administrators
CSE Regional Program Managers