January 11, 2002
Queens District Attorney and City Administration for Children's Services Step Up Enforcement Efforts in Queens County on "Deadbeat Dads"
Four fathers charged with failing to pay a total of nearly $100,000 in child supports
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, joined by Administration for Children's Services (ACS) Commissioner William C. Bell, announced today the arrest in Queens County of four fathers for neglecting or abandoning their eight children -- aged four to 18 -- and failing to pay court-ordered child support and other expenses of nearly $100,000. The arrests are part of an ongoing enforcement initiative in Queens County to help children victimized by their non-supportive fathers.
District Attorney Brown said, "The fathers have been charged because they have repeatedly refused to meet their lawful child support obligations. Fathers who fail to obey court orders which direct them to provide their children with financial help are a serious problem in our society. These prosecutions have been undertaken to make certain these defendants take the required steps to meet their legal obligations to ensure the welfare of their children and also to send a clear message to any other fathers who may be considering shirking their financial responsibilities toward their children that the criminal justice system will not tolerate any failure by them to pay child support for their children."
Commissioner Bell said, "Child support collections in New York City translate into food, clothing, shelter and education for more than 213,000 of our children. Failure by a parent to pay court-ordered support results in hardship and suffering for children and families who are legally and morally entitled to this support. My thanks go to District Attorney Brown and his staff and to ACS Associate Commissioner Michael Infranco and his staff for sending a strong message to those who refuse to support their children."
One of the four defendants, Darin Sharpe, 33, a hard-rock band employee, was arrested as the result of a plea for help from Sharpe’s ex-wife, Kelli Sharpe, a resident of Rome, Georgia, which she e-mailed last month to District Attorney Brown.
"There is not a day that passes that Darin’s lack of responsibility does not affect the lives of my children," Ms. Sharpe stated.
Ms. Sharpe has accused her ex-husband of refusing to pay child support and medical insurance and expenses of over $6,000 for their two sons aged four and six. Queens District Attorney’ s Detectives arrested Sharpe on a Georgia felony warrant, accusing him of Abandonment of Children, in Manhattan where the band, "Eve to Adam," was performing at the Bowery night spot, CBGB’ s.
The three other defendants have each been charged with Non-Support of a Child in the Second Degree, a misdemeanor, and face up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine or both, if convicted.
The defendants, who allegedly owe child support totaling $99,081, include:
- James Cardino, 43, of 101-32 Lefferts Boulevard, Ozone Park, a used-truck company employee, who allegedly owes $33,950 in unpaid child support payments for two of his four children, a 12-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter.
- Edward Hidalgo, 44, of 135-41 121st Street, South Ozone Park, a chef, who allegedly owes $36,858 in unpaid child support payments for his two children, a 15-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter.
- Darin Sharpe, 33, of 18-49 Steinway Street, Astoria, a rock band employee, who allegedly owes over $6,000 in unpaid child support and medical insurance payments for his two sons, four and six.
- Kevin Young, 34, of 116-37 Farmer’s Boulevard, St. Albans, a tow truck driver, who allegedly owes $22,273 in unpaid child support payments for his 16-year-old daughter.
Commissioner Bell said that over the past six years his agency has collected over $2 billion in child support, setting new collection records in each succeeding year. Administration for Children’s Services collected a record $460 million in child support in calendar year 2001.
The initiative is using additional steps to ensure compliance which include suspension of drivers' licenses, non-issuance of city or state professional and occupational licenses, joint efforts with the City Sheriff's Office to enforce judgements and liens on income and property.
According to the Administration for Children’s Services, last year 250 arrests for non-support of a child were made citywide in response to orders issued by Family Court judges. In addition, 13 cases were prosecuted federally.
New Yorkers who require child support information may call the NYC Child Support Helpline at (212) 226-7125. The ACS website, which features the Deadbeat Hall of Shame, may be accessed online at www.nyc.gov/acs.
The investigation was conducted by Assistant District Attorney David Zadnoff, who is prosecuting the cases, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Anthony Communiello of the District Attorney’s Civil Enforcement Bureau and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Peter A. Crusco. Queens District Attorney’s Detective Chief Edward Brady, Detective Sergeant Richard Scantlebury and Detective Philip Smith, as well as Administration for Children’s Services Investigators Neil Braff, Arlene Gill and Denise Williams assisted in the investigation. At ACS, the investigation was coordinated by Anthony DeFazio, Director of Enforcement for the Special Investigations Unit.
It is to be noted that a charge is merely an accusation and that these defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Source: The Queens County District Attorney's Office.