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SOUTH BEACH: SAN CLEMENTE

L.A. 'Deadbeat Dad' Suspect Is Arrested

January 28, 1998|DAVID ROSENZWEIG

He found work in the underground economy, used a Florida driver's license and had mail sent to the homes of friends and relatives, officials said, but after four years of evasion, an accused "deadbeat dad" who owes more than $100,000 was arrested here Tuesday by investigators from the Los Angeles district attorney's family support division.

Charles Donald Powell, 49, was returned to Los Angeles and booked on suspicion of failing to pay child support for two sons from a former marriage and failing to obey a court order. Bail was set at $50,000.

Powell had been ordered by a Van Nuys judge in 1990 to pay $1,000 a month for the care of his two sons. Later, the amount was increased to $1,336 a month. Deputy Dist. Atty. Edward Mizrahi said Powell paid only a small fraction while deliberately evading his wife and the district attorney's office, which received the case in 1994.

Acting on a tip, investigators from the family support division staked out a house in San Clemente for five hours Tuesday and arrested Powell when he stepped outside.

Mizrahi said Powell had received help over the years from friends and relatives to avoid being tracked down, obtained a Florida driver's license and found work selling merchandise at swap meets. He also remarried.

"Our message is, 'You can run but you can't hide,' " the prosecutor said.

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