Kansas City man pleads guilty to fleeing U.S. to avoid paying child support

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It was announced Wednesday that a former Kansas City, Mo. man, who has been living in Thailand, pleaded guilty in federal court to fleeing the United States back in 2007 to avoid paying child support.

United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri announced Randy Lee Essary, 60, of Springfield, Mo., pleaded guilty on Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes. Essary had been living as a resident of Chon Buri, Thailand, where he worked as the senior vice president of development for Eclipse Hotels and Development, which is based in Manila, Philippines and Hong Kong.

Essary admitted to avoiding to pay court-ordered child support for his son for more than eight years, since the start of 2005. He owes nearly $165,000 in child support.

In 1996, Essary was a resident of Missouri, and on February 9, 1996, the Jackson County Circuit Court ordered him to pay $1,500 per month in child support for his son, who lives in Utah with his mother.

Prior to his arrest on February 22,2012 after he flew into the LAX Airport in California, Essary last visited the United States to attend his daughter’s wedding in September 2007. Documents show he flew into Canada and crossed the border into Illinois, where the wedding took place, then later crossed back over the border and left the country on September 12, 2007. He then flew from Canada to Thailand.

Essary could face a sentence of up to two years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine of up to $250,000 in additi9on to an order of restitution. A court hearing will be scheduled following the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office. The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General also investigated this case.

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