LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced the arrest of a Colorado man on an outstanding felony warrant for failure to pay child support. Craig Northup, 42, of Aurora, Colorado, is charged with two counts of failure to pay child support, a four year felony, for allegedly owing a total of $73,385.76 in child support to two Michigan children.
“One of my most important responsibilities is to protect Michigan’s children,” said Schuette. “If you flee the state in an effort to avoid your child support obligations, we will find you and set things right. For the Michigan Attorney General’s office, out-of-sight is not out-of-mind.”
Northup was arrested by U.S. Customs Agents in Miami, Florida, on December 3, 2012, after returning from a four-day cruise to the Bahamas. Arrangements are being made for Northrup to be arraigned on the Michigan charge as soon as possible.
Schuette’s Child Support Division focuses on those parents who have an ability to pay, but refuse to do so. Schuette said his office focuses on non-custodial parents resuming regular child support payments, not jail time. As a result, Michigan kids are paid what they are owed and subsequently receive consistent support into the future. Oftentimes the recognition of potential criminal prosecution is enough to encourage a non-custodial parent to act before setting foot in a courtroom. Under Schuette’s leadership, the Attorney General’s Child Support Division has collected nearly $30 million for 2,370 Michigan kids since January 2011.
The Attorney General’s Child Support Division fills a niche role in prosecuting out-of-state offenders. Since the majority of county prosecutors have a limited budget, if any, to pursue and transport out-of-state offenders, Schuette’s office is able to fill this gap in the system.
The Attorney General’s relationships with law enforcement nationwide, expertise with the extradition process and existing contract for prisoner transport services are utilized to track down and efficiently prosecute out-of-state offenders. To date, nearly half (45%) of the child support cases handled by Schuette’s office have involved out-of-state defendants. The Division receives case referrals from county prosecutors, Friend of the Court offices, custodial parents, and law enforcement agencies.
Custodial parents currently not receiving support may file an online request for review by Schuette’s office at www.michigan.gov/ag.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.