This web site was copied prior to January 20, 2005. It is now a Federal record managed by the National Archives and Records Administration. External links, forms, and search boxes may not function within this collection. Learn more.   [hide]
Graphic of a blue block spacer
Graphic of the FBI Seal and U.S. Flag and link to FBI Homepage
Graphic link to FBI Priorities
Graphic link to About Us
Graphic link to Press Room
Graphic link to What We Investigate
Graphic link to Counterterrorism
Link to Intelligence Program
Graphic link to Most Wanted
Graphic link to Law Enforcement Services
Graphic link to Your Local FBI Office
Graphic link to Reports and Publications
Graphic link to FBI History
Graphic link to For the Family
Graphic link to Freedom Of Iinformation Act Library / Requests
Graphic link to Employment
Graphic link to How Do I..?
Graphic link to Search

Graphic link to  Home


Graphic link to Submit a Tip
Graphic link to Apply Today
Graphic link to Links
Graphic link to Contact Us
Graphic link to Site Map
Graphic link to Privacy Policy
Investigative Programs
Crimes Against Children

Child Support Recovery Act

Not all crimes against children involve physical violence. Some, such as the failure to pay child support, effect the economic well-being of the child. The Child Support Recovery Act (CSRA) of 1992, makes the willful failure to pay a past due support obligation with respect to a child residing in another state a federal misdemeanor offense. The Deadbeat Parents Punishment Act (DDPA) of 1998, amended the CSRA of 1992. The DPPA established felony violations for traveling in interstate or foreign commerce to evade a child support obligation or for failing to pay a child support obligation which is greater than $10,000 or has remained unpaid for a period longer than two years. Previously, child support cases involved only a misdemeanor violation with a penalty of less than one year imprisonment.

When the CSRA became law in 1992, the FBI was given primary investigative jurisdiction. However, Special Agents of the Office of Investigations in the Office of the Inspector General, United States Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), have also been given authority to investigate violations of the CSRA. Attorney General Janet Reno updated CSRA prosecutive guidelines and procedures to be followed by Department of Justice personnel in the enforcement of the CSRA. The guidelines make the United States Attorney in each judicial district responsible for determining which cases will be selected for investigation and prosecution. The FBI cannot accept individual complaints from lawyers, advocacy groups, or from individual citizens. According to the AG guidelines, the FBI can only open cases upon referral from a United States Attorney's Office (USAO).

The Attorney General's guidelines are intended to ensure effective prosecution of the CSRA by providing a means for selecting egregious cases which states are unable to handle because of the interstate nature of the case or in which federal prosecution is deemed more appropriate. As a general principle, cases are usually accepted only when the referral clearly indicates that all reasonable and available remedies at the state level have been exhausted. Among such cases, priority is given to those where the following is established:

  • a pattern of interstate flight to avoid payment or flight after service of process for contempt or contempt hearings;
  • a pattern of deception to avoid payment, such as changing employment, concealing assets or location, or using false names and/or social security account numbers;
  • failure to make support payments after being held in contempt;
  • particular circumstances exist which dictate the need for immediate federal intervention, such as where the custodial parent and/or child have special medical needs or where the custodial family is in danger of eviction and homelessness;
  • when the failure to make child support payments has a nexus to other potential federal charges, such as bankruptcy fraud, bank fraud, federal income tax charges or other related criminal conduct; and
  • priority may also be given to those cases where the children of the non-paying parent are still minors.

Through participation in a Department of Justice Interagency Child Support Working Group, the FBI has taken an active role in the implementation and operation of the Project Save Our Children (PSOC) Task Force. The PSOC concept is a multi-agency task force lead by DHHS and is comprised of the FBI, U.S. Marshal's Service, USAO, state and local law enforcement, regionally-located investigators, and child support agencies.

The mission of PSOC is to increase child support collections by identifying, analyzing, investigating, prosecuting, and evaluating the outcomes of the most flagrant criminal non-support cases. The long-term goal is to create a nationwide, comprehensive and coordinated health and human services and criminal justice response to unresolved interstate and intrastate child support enforcement cases. Each PSOC Task Force screens cases referred by state USAOs. Extensive background investigations are conducted on selected cases to provide a complete referral package to the agency tasked with conducting the follow-up investigation. After the screening and financial investigation, the cases are referred to participating agencies for investigation and prosecution based on established criteria.

Individual FBI Field Offices serve as primary points of contact for persons requesting FBI assistance. For further information about FBI services or to request assistance, please contact a Crimes Against Children Coordinator at your local FBI Field Office.



Online Child Pornography

CAC Coordinators
National Sex Offender Registry
State Sex Offender Registry Web Sites
Federal Statutes
Child Support Recovery Act
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Two FBI Agents Recognized at National Missing Children's Day Ceremony
Investigating Crimes Against Children Brochure
Text Only Version
Investigating Crimes Against Children Brochure
Portable Document File (PDF) Version
Additional Resources
CAC Homepage