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Calls for Investigation into Why Man Was Ordered to Pay Child Support for A Non-Existent Child

U.S. Newswire, December 9, 2004

DALLAS, Dec. 9 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Steve Barreras paid child support for a 5-year-old daughter who his ex-wife claimed was his. Despite never being able to actually see the child, Barreras did pay $20,000 in child support as required by the court. The problem is -- the child has been declared nonexistent by an Albuquerque judge. "There is no child ...," she said.

Richard Farr, founder of KRightsRadio.com said, " Why did no one catch this outrageous, alleged fraud five years ago? Are there other noncustodial parents suffering similar irregularities at the hands of this agency? There needs to be a federal investigation of this case. Someone needs to be held responsible for this. Had Barreras fallen behind in child support payments through no fault of his own, this innocent man could have gone to jail or suffered other punitive measures because of the alleged false claims of his ex-wife. Barreras, his current wife, and his family have suffered long enough."

KRightsRadio believes this child support case for a nonexistent child may be an egregious example of an overzealous child support agency who apparently ignored the alleged fathers' repeated cries over the past 5 years that there was no child for whom he was ordered to pay child support.

"Unfortunately, too many child support agencies are virtually accountable to no one. Agencies should be as accurate and as regulated as banks. When this kind of climate of irresponsibility exists, cases like this and similar injustices can abound. We believe that this one case may only be the tip of the iceberg," said Farr.

In addition, says Farr, some officials see child support agencies as revenue-generating agencies. States make money off the collection of child support while the taxpayers lose money at the federal level overall. Too often, this money-mindedness does not give incentives for agencies to do the right thing for children and families.

KRightsRadio says KOB-TV reporter Mark Horner and the station deserve kudos for their persistent investigation.

"Having an apparent lack of checks and balances in the child support enforcement system is not good for U.S. taxpayers, nor for families and children. Positive change has been needed for a long time," said Farr.