news from the Prosecutor's Office

Non-Support Investigator Makes Strides in Bringing "Deadbeat Parents" to Justice
August 27, 2008

Press Release

For Immediate Release

August 27, 2008

(Hamilton, Ohio) Prosecutor Piper hired an investigator within the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office to investigate and aggressively pursue “deadbeat parents.” Within the last six-months, the new criminal non-support investigator has tracked down and apprehended 28 parents owing over $500,000 in arrearage to their children here in Butler County. Approximately $80,000 has already been collected.

Sherrie Zins has three children. One of her children, 18-year old Amber, wrote a heartfelt letter requesting that we find her mother so that her dad can collect the $27,000 in child support owed to him. Amber has not see her mother since she was four-years old. Sherrie Zins eluded law enforcement for two years until she was tracked down in Tennessee and found hiding in a bathtub to avoid being arrested.

Trenton Thomas has a new wife and new life in Texas. He has a nice home, a good job working with computers, a motorcycle, ATV, cars and a pilot’s license (at one time owning his own plane). Despite his comfortable lifestyle, Thomas owed his child $70,000 in unpaid support.

Ernest Gebhardt left his wife and daughter 3 years ago and completely stopped all contact with them and family members. In April 2008, Gebhardt was found to be living with a friend in a gated-Florida community, working as an auto liquidator, selling cars. He also supported himself by impersonating a sports celebrity and selling autographed sports memorabilia. Gebhardt owed $37,000 in non-support on 3 separate cases for 3 children.

In all of these cases, the individuals knew they had felony warrants, eluded the law for years and went through great efforts to stay ‘under the radar’. Unfortunately their efforts to evade paying child support ended thanks to Prosecutor Robin Piper, his new criminal non-support investigator and the cooperation on the part of various law enforcement agencies.

The new criminal non-support investigator has achieved results.

Zins is now currently serving a 1½ year prison sentence for non-support.

After his arrest, Thomas paid over $45,000 to his children.

Gebhardt has paid $12,000.

“As we reach the end of National Child Support Enforcement Month, it does not end our quest for those wanted for criminal non-support. Your tips are needed. If you have information pertaining to a parent wanted for criminal non-support, contact (513) 785-6597. Your help could mean the difference in the quality of life for a child,” Prosecutor Piper concluded.

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For more information contact the Prosecutor's Office at (513) 887-3474
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