Mayor Receives Jail Time for Lying to DMV to Avoid Paying Child Support

Allegory of Justice
How far do some people go to avoid paying child support? You’d be surprised. While it seem unlikely that an elected public official such as a mayor would be involved in a child support scam, it is very much possible.

The former mayor of Buena Park, CA, Sangjin Miller Oh, was recently sentenced to a six-month jail term and three years of probation, for registering a fake name and using other false information with the Depart of Motor Vehicles on documents,in order to avoid paying child support. A City Council member since 2010, Oh resigned from his post as mayor following his conviction of five felony counts of perjury by declaration on May 30. Judge John Adams of the Orange County Superior Court ordered Oh to perform 200 hours of community service in addition to his jail time and probation.

The 50-year-old former elected official must surrender Jan. 9 in order to begin serving his six-month jail term. Oh will be sentenced to a three-year prison term in the event he violates his probation.

“The hardest thing is finding these people sometimes — people will do anything to disappear off the grid to avoid paying child support. There’s all kinds of private detectives out there though who have access to certain information that law firms don’t have access to. There are plenty of ways that the professionals can go about looking for someone, but basically the final straw is they go to jail,” explains Carla Zolman, Owner of the Zolman Law Firm.

A real estate developer and father to two girls, Oh told an undercover investigator in a recorded conversation that he paid someone $300 to get him a fake driver’s license that he could use to register vehicles and hide his assets, according to Deputy District Attorney John Christl. According to prosecutors, Oh used the name Robert, his Roman Catholic confirmation name, in addition to his lunar birth date, on the license application. He also failed to disclose that he already had another license under different name.

Neither did Oh disclose that his license had been suspended in another incident. He also used the fraudulently obtained license to register his vehicles with the DMV on four separate occasions, according to prosecutors.

While campaigning for office in 2010, his voter registration and other documents contained conflicting information such as birth dates and other inconsistencies, Christl said. The crimes were committed over the course of five years, between Sept. 2004 and July 2009.

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