A federal judge in Charlottesville is ordering a deadbeat dad to pay back more than $122,000 in past-due child support he managed to evade for more than a decade.
The court accepted a guilty plea deal from 42-year-old Glenn Howard Sherman on Monday morning in an unusual case for federal prosecution.
Sherman had two daughters with his wife at the time, Merry Lynn Wegner. The couple lived around Charlottesville. They divorced when their girls were just 1 and 2-years-old, and Albemarle County courts ordered Sherman to pay child support. They are now nearly 15 and 16-years-old.
"The beginning was $65 a week, because he was without a job," Wegner said. "That lasted for a short period of time."
Wegner says the payments stopped, and Sherman hopped around from Florida to South Carolina over the years. He arrived Monday at the Charlottesville Federal Courthouse with his new family to face a misdemeanor charge of willfully failing to pay child support.
Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Abendroth said, "Over the last 11 years, he hasn't made a voluntary child support payment."
Prosecutors say Sherman, who was arrested on February 7 in Charleston, South Carolina, used fake social security numbers and P.O. Boxes to conceal his identity and avoid paying up.
"The defendant in this case did hide his identity and he was very successful in it," Abendroth said.
Sherman will avoid jail time as part of his plea deal. The judge ordered him to pay back the $122,000 in child support, starting with $4,000 due Monday.
Wegner hopes her case serves as an example to other parents. "You're both responsible and you've just got to keep trying," Wegner said. "Don't give up on the system. Eventually it'll work."
The U.S. Attorney's Office says it took on this child support case, because it involved such a large sum of past-due payments and Wegner and Sherman lived in different states. Typically, child support cases are left to local courts.