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Helpful Feature of Florida Child Support System Left It Open to Abuse

The Florida Department of Revenue plays a critical role for many people who make or receive child support payments each month. Instead of unofficial payments made between parents, which can be difficult to track and keep records of, the state acts as a middleman. This process, however, leaves the state open to fraud.

To facilitate and standardize the child support process, the paying parent can send a check each month to the Department of Revenue. After receiving payment, the organization, which also helps parents establish paternity, modify support orders and locate parents, then pays recipients with state funds. In many cases, this process works smoothly and ensures that children receive the support they need.

Recently, however, two Floridians realized they could exploit this system. The alleged criminals, Steven Rembert and Frances Rembert, found a way to write bad checks and collect support anyway. Because the state did not verify checks under $2,500 before paying recipient parents, the Remberts were able to send in fake payments directed to women who they were working with. The state would then disburse the payments before realizing that the checks were bogus. By that time, the Remberts had taken their share from the women receiving the checks.

The Remberts are accused of stealing more than $100,000 from the state with this scheme. Some of the women used for this ploy claim they were told they were being enrolled in a special program. At this time, none of the recipients have been charged. The Department of Revenue has changed their policy for verifying checks, with the threshold lowered from $2,500 to a new, undisclosed amount.

To learn more about child support and the divorce process, contact the Tampa Bay-area family law attorney at the Law Offices of K. Dean Kantaras, P.A.