Wealthy ‘Dead-beat Dad’ Arrested in Salt Lake City
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ A ″deadbeat dad″ who donated $500,000 at a Republican Party fund-raiser when he owed his ex-wife $100,000 in child support was arrested Saturday.
Authorities had stepped up the search for Michael Kojima, 50, of Los Angeles, after spotting him in news photos from the April 28 dinner, sitting at President Bush’s table.
Kojima was taken into custody at Salt Lake International Airport as he was about to board an flight to Denver to meet his wife for a vacation. He was held pending an extradition hearing Tuesday.
He apparently had been in the area for several weeks, staying with friends or in motels, authorities said.
″We managed to track him, but he was always a hop and a skip ahead of us,″ said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.
Kojima was charged May 18 in Los Angeles with failing to provide, a misdemeanor that carries a possible maximum sentence of one year in jail.
But prosecutors didn’t know where to find Kojima, a self-described international business consultant who had moved and married several times, Gibbons said.
Authorities got a tip he was to fly to Denver for a vacation in the Rocky Mountains, and the Salt Lake police arrested him before he boarded the flight, Gibbons said.
Kojima owed $100,000 in child support to a former wife, Chang Cha Kojima, a beautician from whom he was divorced in 1984, Gibbons said. He was required to pay $350 a month for each of his two daughters, now 12 and 13.
The Republican Party placed his two contribution checks - $400,000 to the fund-raising event and another $100,000 to the party - in escrow following a report by The Associated Press that Kojima owed hundreds of thousands of dollars and had left a trail of lawsuits filed by creditors.
Another ex-wife, Soon Kojima, claims Kojima also owes her $15,000 in back child support and a $100,000 court judgment resulting from a business venture the two entered.