EDWARDSVILLE — Felony charges were filed Monday against a man owing more than $175,000 in child support payments.
Ignacio Margarida, 54, who listed an Edwardsville address, was charged July 1 with two counts of failure to support, both Class 4 felonies.
“I think it’s happened before, but it’s really rare,” said Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons.
The case stems from a 2006 divorce. Margarida was ordered to pay child support for three children, ages 1, 5 and 15 at the time.
“He never made a payment,” Gibbons said
According to an attachment order filed in January 2007, Margarida owed $4,453 and was ordered to pay the sum or be taken into custody.
Instead, Margarida fled to Spain.
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He recently was arrested by Madison County Sheriff’s Deputies after returning to this country and apparently trying to make contact with one of his children.
“Hopefully we can convince him to live up to his obligations,” Gibbons said, noting the total amount owed is now $177,479.50.
As of Tuesday morning, Margarida was in custody at the Madison County Jail with bail set at $50,000, meaning he would have to pay $5,000 plus the amount owed in the attachment.
In addition, Gibbons said Margarida will have to give up his passport.
“Our goal here is simply to make him live up to his financial responsibilities for his children,” Gibbons said. “We can’t make him a good dad, but the state requires him to take financial responsibility.”
He noted the felony charges are “a heavy hammer” only used “in the most serious of cases.”