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CHILD SUPPORT: AG Walker Says His Office Is Looking For 130 Families Owed $600,000


Attorney General  Claude Walker

CHRISTIANSTED – The Virgin Islands Department of Justice said Tuesday that it is holding $600,000 in child support funds it has collected but cannot distribute because it can’t find the people it belongs to.

V.I. Attorney General Claude Walker began “Operation Save Our Children” in late September as part of an effort to ensure that child support orders of the Superior Court are strictly enforced. In late January, Walker said that $1.8 million had been collected in the first four months of the program.

But on Tuesday, Walker said that at least 130 parents had not come forward to claim $600,000 in funds that are currently held by the Paternity & Child Support Division (PCSD).

“These unclaimed monies were collected by the Division from parents for their children, and amounts are as as much as $5,000. PCSD has had difficulty locating these parents for a number of reasons, to include lack of a current address,” Walker said.

Attorney General Claude Earl Walker has directed PCSD to launch a public campaign to notify the community of these unclaimed funds.

“The Division of Paternity & Child Support must make every effort to locate the parents owed this money as many of them are single mothers who are struggling to make ends meet,” Walker said. “Upon a learning of these unclaimed funds, I immediately directed PCSD to track down these parents as some of them have relocated. I have also instructed the Division to institute better measures that would greatly reduce the likelihood that this problem will reoccur.”

PCSD will publicly release the names of the parents within the next week, and any person whose name is on the list must physically appear at a PCSD office and present personal identifying information to collect funds owed, or if off-island, then contact PSCD to have alternative arrangements made.

In addition, once the list is released, any person having knowledge of the whereabouts of any individual listed should contact PSCD. For further information, please call (340) 775-3070.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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