Tuesday, May 23, 2000

Deadbeat dad's bond set at $180K

Brit called flight risk

By Dan Horn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Charles Aniagolu told a judge Monday he came to the United States so he could work out a plan to pay the $142,000 he owes in child support.

        But prosecutors say he came looking for a job, not his daughter.

        After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge David Davis decided Mr. Aniagolu should stay in jail until he comes up with $180,000 for bond.


        He agreed with Hamilton County prosecutors who said Mr. Aniagolu was a high risk to flee the country and return to England, where he was working as host of a radio show.

        Mr. Aniagolu — described as the county's worst “deadbeat parent” — was arrested in Atlanta on May 11 after arriving on a plane from London.

        Prosecutor Mike Allen said the purpose of the trip was a job interview with CNN — not to work out a payment plan for his delinquent child support.

        “He wasn't going to take care of this voluntarily,” Mr. Allen said. “He was going back to England.”

        To support his argument, Mr. Allen showed Judge Davis Mr. Aniagolu's airline ticket. It indi cated he would return to England on May 12, the day after his arrival.

        “He was due to go back. He's an obvious flight risk,” Mr. Allen said.

        Mr. Aniagolu's attorney, Jerome Stineman, said his client got the ticket from CNN. He said Mr. Aniagolu intended to go to Cincinnati within a week of his arrival to resolve the issue. “He wanted to come here and work this out,” Mr. Stineman said.

        He said Mr. Aniagolu, who has worked as a correspondent for the British Broadcasting Co., “has the wherewithal to make some pretty good money.”

        But he said he will earn no money to support his child if he remains in jail.

        Mr. Aniagolu was at the top of the list last year when Mr. Allen announced the indictment of 65 men and four women who owed a total of $1.3 million to their children.

        Prosecutors say he has failed to support his daughter, now 13, for more than a decade.

        Mr. Allen said attempts to have Mr. Aniagolu arrested in England failed because suspects cannot be extradited from that country for failure to pay child support.

        He said he feared that if Mr. Aniagolu returned to England, prosecutors would never recover the child support money.

        Judge Davis set the bond at $180,000 for Mr. Aniagolu after calculating that it would cover $10,000 a year for the first 18 years of his daughter's life.

        “The bond is very appropriate under the circumstances,” Mr. Allen said.


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