Mom faces non-support indictment |

Mom faces non-support indictment

A Pensacola, Fla., woman was indicted by a federal grand jury in Sacramento last week for failure to pay child support for two children who lived in Nevada County.

The indictment alleges that between June 1999 and December 2000, Christine A. Stewart violated the Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act by failing to pay child support in excess of $10,000, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura L. Swartz.

The Special Enforcement Unit of the Sierra Nevada Regional Department of Child Support Services presented the case to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecution under the federal Save Our Children program.

Since April 2001, the enforcement unit has focused on parents who have failed to take responsibility for their children over long periods of time, said Kathleen L. Hrepich, director of the Sierra Nevada regional DCSS.

“Prosecuting parents who will not provide support sends a message of responsibility to them and helps give their children a better chance in life,” she said.

After all local enforcement efforts have been exhausted, the enforcement unit refers the department’s most serious child support cases to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“We are working hard with federal and state law enforcement agencies to take vigorous action to let everyone know that no one is above the law when it comes to supporting their children,” Hrepich said.

If convicted, Stewart faces a maximum penalty of two years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a year of probation.

The Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act also provides for restitution of the unpaid child support.

The enforcement unit calculated Stewart’s past-due child support is in excess of $26,000.

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