Philadelphia Man Convicted at Trial Sentenced to 6 to 12 Years for Forging Documents to Avoid Child Support Payments

May 31, 2024 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Michelle Henry announced that a Philadelphia man will serve up to 12 years in prison, and pay restitution, for forging documents to avoid child support obligations.

The defendant, Damien Hartsfield, was convicted in January of felony counts of forgery, theft by deception, identity theft, conspiracy, perjury, and misdemeanor false swearing.

On Tuesday, Hartsfield was sentenced to 6 to 12 years in prison, followed by 3 years of probation. Hartsfield, 37, must also pay $5,400 restitution, which will go to the child’s mother.

Hartsfield owed more than $17,000 in child support to the mother of his child when he forged documents to make it appear that the mother no longer wanted child support payments.

“The defendant concocted an elaborate scheme that involved identity theft to deceive the family court and avoid legal obligations to his child,” Attorney General Henry said. “This trial conviction and sentence hold the defendant accountable and puts the child support order, and money owed, back into effect.”

Hartsfield was awarded $10,000 in an unrelated lawsuit, but was unable to receive that award due to the outstanding child support balance.

Hartsfield had someone impersonate the mother, using a duplicate driver’s license, and drafted a notarized letter that showed the “mother” did not want to receive child support from Hartsfield. He later lied under oath to a family court judge.

Hartsfield later received the $10,000 award and vacationed to Cancun.

The mother discovered the fraud and contacted law enforcement authorities.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Thomas Ost-Prisco prosecuted the case and won the trial conviction.

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