Parents fall victim to complicated child support scam
Unfortunately, recent events often serve as the most effective cautionary tales, as they involve contemporary issues and real-life victims. One such story that parents in Utah, and all around the U.S., can learn from centers around an elaborate child support collection scam designed to defraud parents of thousands of dollars, while hurting children’s wellbeing in the process.
In only a two-year period, authorities claim that victims were cheated out of more than $600,000 in child support payments. And now the three individuals accused of perpetrating the complex scheme may face steep fines and heavy prison sentences.
The con involved convincing parents that they were using a legitimate government-affiliated agency to conduct child support transactions. Authorities suggest that the defendants went so far as to entice victims to use their fraudulent services instead of already established court-ordered plans in some instances.
For the many serious offences the defendants are accused of committing, they were recently indicted by a grand jury on charges including extortion, money laundering and obstruction of justice, among others.
Investigators claim that the fake business operated under three names, and actively sought out individuals in the process of making child support arrangements by using public records. The defendants would then persuade these people to forward their payments to one of the fraudulent businesses in their area. Ultimately, all payments ended up at one location and some victims were even harassed until they complied with the defendants’ demands for more money.
Making arrangements to have child support payments properly transferred and documented is an important part of settling divorce and child custody issues. Not only is it necessary to ensure that both parents are held accountable for their responsibilities but it’s essential to meet the needs of the children involved. That’s why it’s highly recommended that parents rely on family court services and attorneys to handle such financial matters.