Father guilty of not paying child support, now will pay $70,000.
A father who was about to go to trial over his failure to pay child support for nearly 15 years, agreed to plead guilty to a felony count of non-support of spouse or child, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.
Moses Wazwaz, 41, pleaded guilty Monday and agreed to pay $70,000 in four installments beginning in April and ending in January 2017. He also was sentenced to three days in jail, but was given credit for three days already served last year when he also paid $35,000. As part of Monday’s agreement, Wazwaz also forfeited his $5,000 bail to his child support payments.
“This was excellent work by our Child Support Division, which had to be persistent with a father who just plain refused to pay what he owed to make sure that his child was properly clothed, fed and sheltered,” Freeman said. “And in earlier court hearings, when he was ordered to pay or go to jail, he simply disappeared. I hope this sends the message that fathers are responsible for their children and if they fail to live up to that responsibility, we will be relentless in pursuing them.”
In court Monday, assistant Hennepin County Attorney Sandra Filardo presented the agreement to Hennepin County District Court Judge Daniel Mabley. Wazwaz then admitted that he had failed to pay his child support for more than six months.
Wazwaz’s ability to pay the monthly child support was never an issue. In 2004, Wazwaz was to pay $361 per month and currently it is $489 per month. According to the criminal complaint, Wazwaz is a skilled construction manager who at times made more than $100,000 per year.
Wazwaz’s child was born in April 1999. By February 2007, the county attorney’s office made the first court attempt to force him to pay by having him found in civil contempt of court. He was ordered to serve 100 days in the county workhouse unless he began paying $500 a month to catch up on what he owed beginning March 1, 2007, according to the criminal complaint. At some point, one of the checks bounced and in September 2008, a warrant was issued for Wazwaz’s arrest.
He was not arrested until January 2009. From then on, he would fail to show up for hearings where he was to either pay the money or serve the 100 day sentence. Then bench warrants would be issued for his arrest and the cycle would repeat, the complaint states.
In January 2015, the county attorney’s office, fed up with Wazwaz’s behavior, filed the two criminal felony charges against him. The two felony counts with which he was charged covered the time from February 2007 until Dec. 31, 2014 and in that time Wazwaz failed to pay $60,673 in child support. Since he was first ordered in July 2000 to pay child support, Wazwaz was approximately $143,000 in arrears and has not made a voluntary child support payment since 2008.
Criminal Complaint (PFD