Authorities to extradite deadbeat dad

September 06, 1992|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,Staff Writer

The county Sheriff's Office has initiated extradition proceedings against a former Ellicott City man who owes $33,000 in child-support payments, making him one of the worst offenders in the county.

Since December of 1986 when he was ordered to pay $600 a month to support his five children, Anthony C. Farace, 41, has made payments totaling less than $5,000.

According to court records, prosecutors believe Mr. Farace has managed to avoid his court-ordered financial obligations to his xTC children by moving from relative to relative and using false Social Security numbers, making it difficult to impose earnings withholdings on his salary.

A bench warrant for his arrest with a $31,000 cash-only bond was issued in May after he failed to appear at a contempt of court hearing.

The county State's Attorney's Office approved extradition of Mr. Farace after deputies working on the case received a tip that he might be in Michigan.

But Mr. Farace's ex-wife, Joy Goldsmith of Ellicott City, isn't counting on authorities to find him in Michigan after he's spent six years successfully eluding prosecution and jail time in Maryland.

"I stand here totally amazed that he's been able to evade the system time and time again," Mrs. Goldsmith said. "It's been so long, the payments are so high and he's just going to keep moving."

The county Sheriff's Department forwarded the information on Mr. Farace's case to the police department in Kentwood, Mich. on Aug. 24, said Sgt. Randolph W. Roby.

If Mr. Farace is apprehended by Michigan authorities he will be charged as a fugitive. Following his arrest he may opt to waive his extradition rights, in which case county sheriffs would travel to Michigan to bring Mr. Farace back to Maryland, Sergeant Roby said.

Should Mr. Farace refuse to return voluntarily to face charges in Maryland, the next step would be to obtain a governor's warrant to bring him back to the state.

Martin J. McNamara III, an assistant state's attorney who handles child-support cases, said that extradition is an "extraordinary" step to take to enforce payment of child support.

The Sheriff's Department, the State's Attorneys Office and the county Department of Social Services say they don't keep a "top 10" list of the largest amounts owed in child-support cases. However, they said that $31,000 in unpaid support is an unusually large amount.

"I don't think I've ever seen a cash bond as high as $30,000 in a child-support case," said Sergeant Roby.

Over they years, Mrs. Goldsmith, 36, has become increasingly frustrated and angry as the amount of unpaid child support due her climbed.

She has three more children from her second marriage but said that her husband's salary from working seven days a week isn't enough to support eight children.

Since her divorce from Mr. Farace, Mrs. Goldsmith received an associate degree in business and education from Howard Community College. At times she has worked three jobs simultaneously to support her children. She currently works as a seamstress for Royal Bridal and does private design work, but because of a series of illnesses hasn't been able to work steadily for the past year.

Recently, she wrote letters explaining her situation to Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, Oprah Winfrey, Geraldo Rivera and President and Mrs. George Bush.

In a letter dated Aug. 3 Mrs. Bush responded, "George values having the comments and ideas of individual Americans. I will see that your views are shared with the appropriate members of the administration."

Mrs. Goldsmith said she'd like to see legislation making it a federal crime to move out of state to avoid child-support payments.

"I know nothing can make a person morally responsible, but my ex-husband needs to be financially responsible," Mrs. Goldsmith said.

From the start, Mr. Farace failed to make the court-ordered payments of $600 a month. According to court records dating back to 1987, prosecutors continually tried to cite him for contempt of court for failure to pay child support.

But when sheriffs attempted to serve him with court summons at various addresses, they could not locate him.

"If an individual sets out to avoid responsibility and is rather intelligent, he can probably get by for quite a while before he makes a mistake," Mr. McNamara said.

"It's disgraceful what they do to their children, but until they surface there's nothing that can be done," he said.

Mrs. Goldsmith finally located Mr. Farace last year based on a tip from an acquaintance of his. In March of 1991, Circuit Judge James B. Dudley found Mr. Farace in contempt of court and ordered him to pay $600 a month in child support and an additional $200 a month.

Mr. Farace paid $1,500 on March 14 to avoid a jail sentence of 2,500 hours, which Judge Dudley suspended. Mr. Farace made

payments totaling $4,615 through September 1991, court records show.

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