BANGOR, Maine — Following a trial in U.S. District Court, jurors convicted a North Carolina man of willfully failing to pay $58,406 in child support over more than 20 years.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Moore, said Monday that the jury found Steve Matisko, Jr., 54, of Raleigh, North Carolina, guilty on Sept. 20 following a trial in front of Chief U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen.
Moore said the case involved a custodial mom, child and witnesses from Caribou and Limestone.
Evidence introduced at trial showed that in 1997, the Maine District Court found that Matisko was the legal and biological father of the child and ordered Matisko to pay $56 per week in child support, according to the assistant U.S. attorney.
“Matisko kept moving around,” said Moore, noting that the 56-year-old lived in Maine, Alaska, Ohio, Texas and North Carolina over the past 21 years and worked for cash so as to avoid his support obligations. “He left Maine during the first year of his child’s life. It made it difficult to collect payments and it also took time to collect evidence in this case.”
Moore said the Division of Support Enforcement and Recovery of the state Department of Health and Services tried for years to collect the $58,406 that Matisko owed. After he was found, Matisko agreed to plead guilty to the crime but then changed his mind and requested a trial. Eight people testified during the proceedings, according to Moore.
The assistant U.S. attorney said that Matisko only made two child support payments over the previous two decades and those were ‘involuntary,” as the state seized the money from his bank account. He said that the mother of the child had to seek state support for a time and also worked three jobs to support her child.
“That is what is so sad,” Moore said. “Not only did this child not have his father or financial support from him, he saw less of his mother because she was working three jobs.”
Matisko said that Torresen will sentence Matisko after the U.S. Probation Office conducts a pre-sentence investigation. He faces up to two years in prison and one year of supervised release, a $250,000 fine and court-ordered restitution in the amount of $58,406.
The investigation was conducted by the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Division of Support Enforcement and Recovery for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.