WASHINGTON (NBC) - The federal government is stepping up its efforts to track down parents who refuse to pay child support.
While many have fallen on hard times, others seem determined to avoid paying, even if it harms their own children.
The program is called Project Save our Children, and in Virginia, Arlington County Sheriff's Deputies have gotten used to the routine. The week after week hunt for deadbeat parents who now have a warrant out for their arrest.
If they owe a few hundred or thousand dollars in child support, it's a civil warrant and police can't chase them across state lines.
But if they owe more than $5,000 and cross state lines, it becomes a felony.
But the typical person who owes money for child support has no idea that it can become a criminal matter. In one county alone in northern Virginia, they have 175 outstanding child support warrants. Some of them dating back to 1997.
At $5,000, the feds get involved.
Now, a new website is naming names, listing the most egregious cases:
Robert Sand is at the top of the list. He owes more than $1million in child support and is thought to be in Thailand.
Among the fugitives already arrested: former Oakland A's first baseman Troy Lee Neel bought an island in the South Pacific but refused to pay support, even for a child with medical needs. He's pleaded guilty and is paying $778,000.
And then there's Rusty Haile, who refused to support his four kids. Owing $116,000, he fled to Bermuda.
Haile was arrested and in November pleaded guilty.
All of the cases are examples, say federal investigators, of their determination to make deadbeat parents pay.
The federal Health and Human Services office of Inspector General's web page has more on the efforts to bring fugitive deadbeat parents to justice. Click here to visit the site.