The federal government's "most wanted deadbeat" parent -- a Nassau County man who owes more than $1.2 million for three children from two marriages -- was arrested after being deported from the Philippines, officials said Tuesday.
Businessman Robert Sand, 50, had been on the run from three arrest warrants for more than a decade, the last eight years in Thailand, where bits of news about his companies and problems made their way to U.S. authorities, said the U.S. attorney's office for Long Island.
But on Nov. 28, Sand was caught entering the Philippines without identification and told immigration officials he was a wanted man, said Joseph Napolitano, a supervisory special agent who has been on the case since 2001 at the U.S. Health and Humans Services Department.
"I think if you talked to him, he's going to paint the picture of 'I want to come back and do the right thing,' " said Napolitano, who said Sand called him from the Philippines. "I know that over the years, he's gotten himself in hot waters in Thailand and he's been able to buy himself out. Finally, he might have reached the point where he couldn't buy himself out of trouble anymore."
Sand's attorney, Glenn Obedin of Central Islip, said he has not discussed the allegations in detail with his client.
"He's happy to be back in the United States," Obedin said, "and he's looking forward to the opportunity to address these outstanding issues."
Since 1996, Sand has been ordered to pay child support and was indicted in 2009 on two counts of failure to pay child support. He faces up to four years in prison.
He lived in Syosset and was in the auto auction business, earning between $500,000 to $600,000 in the early 1990s, according to court documents.
But starting in 1994, he reported making much less, his 2002 arrest warrant said.
To his second ex-wife, Sand's resurfacing is unwelcome news because he abandoned her and their 5-month-old daughter in 2001.
Now remarried and living in Nassau County, she asked for her name to be withheld because her daughter knows nothing of Sand. "I just want to keep it that way," she said, adding she doesn't want the $400,000 owed.
"He only left because he didn't want to pay his first wife. He knew he was going to jail. He wanted me to run with him. I chose not to."
Sand's first ex-wife could not be reached, but federal officials said she lives in Nassau County.