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Fugitive's son arrested on child support charges

Fugitive's son arrested on child support charges

March 17th, 2012 by MARIA SUDEKUM, Associated Press in News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The 22-year-old son of British fugitive in custody in southwest Missouri was jailed Friday on a Wisconsin warrant accusing him of not paying child support.

Lee E. King's arrest in Ozark on Thursday comes just weeks after his father's highly publicized arrest and several months after King won a $100,000 Missouri Lottery prize.

King is charged with failing to pay child support, said Carol Adams, clerk for the Ozark police department. King was being held Friday in the Christian County jail awaiting extradition to Ozaukee County, Wisconsin.

He is the son of Edward J. Maher, who is jailed in neighboring Greene County on federal charges and is suspected of stealing an armored van in England in 1993. The van, which was carrying the equivalent of about $1.5 million in British currency, disappeared along with Maher, who had been sought for years in the alleged theft.

Maher, 56, was arrested at the family's home in Ozark in early February and indicted Feb. 28 on federal charges of aggravated identity theft, document fraud and firearms violations. British authorities have said they intend to begin extradition proceedings for Maher, but they also said that process could take months.

Criminal charges against King were filed March 13 in Wisconsin, alleging he had not paid about $4,300 in support for a child, now 4, who he had with Kayla Jacoby, 23, of Port Washington, Wis., according to the charging document. Jacoby and King attended high school together in Wisconsin.

He faces five felony counts of failure to support and one misdemeanor count of the same charge, according to the complaint, which does not list a lawyer for King. Officials at the Christian County jail said King could not be reached for comment. A woman who answered the phone at a listing for King's family in Ozark said she had no comment on King's arrest.

King won a $100,000 prize in a Missouri Lottery game and claimed the prize money in September 2011, Lottery spokeswoman Susan Goedde said. She said the Lottery checks for outstanding child support payments before providing winners with their cash payments, but she could not confirm if the Lottery performed that search in King's case.

"We would assume it was done, but I don't know each case," Goedde said Friday.

She said the lottery would withhold 25 percent in federal taxes and 4 percent for state taxes for a $100,000 prize, making a claim on a prize that size about $71,000.

She also said she could not disclose if the Lottery had withheld any money beyond taxes from King's prize.

Rhonda Gorden, director of the Ozaukee County Child Support Agency in Port Washington, Wis., said King had been sought for child support since at least 2009. Court records in Wisconsin also indicate that the state sent a specific child support enforcement request about King's lack of support payments to Missouri officials in October 2011, about a month after he claimed his Lottery prize.

Gorden said the criminal charges were filed in part out of concern that King, Maher and other family members would leave for England soon.

"I can say this about child support enforcement, when somebody flees to Europe it's by far more difficult to track them down," Gorden said.

Jacoby said she had been trying to get King to pay support "for quite some time" and was relieved to hear about his arrest.