Woman cops to not paying support | TheUnion.com

Woman cops to not paying support

A Florida woman whose two children live in Nevada County has pleaded guilty to one count of failure to pay child support, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento said Thursday.

Christine Stewart, 39, of Pensacola, Fla., was indicted March 21 for failure to pay more than $10,000 in support between June 1999 and December 2000, Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura L. Swartz said in a written statement. Stewart was arrested in Pensacola April 16.

A Nevada County Superior Court judge ordered Stewart to pay child support for her two children, starting Feb. 1, 1999, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, but she has failed to make any payments.

A former employer said Stewart was paid in cash and refused to be put on the payroll to avoid having to pay child support, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Stewart faces a penalty of up to two years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a year of probation.

The case is the first one out of Nevada County prosecuted under the 1996 federal Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act, Kathleen Hrepich, director of the Sierra Nevada Regional Department of Child Support Services, said Thursday. Hrepich heads the Grass Valley-based agency that referred the case to the federal prosecutors.

These cases are referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office when all other remedies have been exhausted, Hrepich said. So far her office has referred 19 cases to federal prosecutors, and 15 have been accepted for prosecution.

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