|||| Pasco County Sherriff's Office |||
He probably thought he had long gotten away with his irresponsibility and negligence as a deadbeat dad, but 25 years after, the man’s sins- and the wheels of justice- have finally caught up with him after a judge ordered him to pay almost $2 million in back child support earlier this month.
The Indiana family he had long abandoned can only heave a sigh of relief and some measure of happiness for “some closure” brought by the court decision favorable to them.
Linda Iseler recalled how her marriage to her ex-husband, Richard Hoagland, ended “unilaterally.” He called her at work on February 10, 1993 to say, “he was leaving her.” When they met at their home later with their two young sons then aged nine and six, he simply told her, “I can’t live this way anymore. I feel you would be better off without me.”
Hoagland also concluded: “I don’t want to go to jail. I’m never coming back.”
He kept his word, as he left for good. Hoagland also remarried and fathered another son using the name of a dead man whose identity he stole in Florida.
The family Hoagland abandoned pursued a case against him.
Justice only caught up with the deadbeat dad after a judge ordered Hoagland to pay $1.86 million in back child support, including the maximum allowable annual interest of 18 percent.
For Iseler, other than what he owed her and their children, she was after the proper closure Hoagland denied her when he simply walked out of their relationship and their lives forever. She said, “I was glad that we finally had made it that point where he would be held accountable for his behavior. There’s some closure with that.”
As it turned out, Hoagland was sentenced in 2017 for two years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft for stealing the identity of a dead commercial fisherman who drowned in West Palm Beach. He was also ordered by the court to forfeit $42, 500, the amount he made from the proceeds of a housing program scheme with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Hoagland lived up to his “reputation” as a deadbeat dad when he saw the sons he abandoned without care 25 years ago. Douglas Hoagland who’s now 31 said he was most shocked not to see any meaningful reaction on his father’s face when they met again after 25 years. He, on the other hand, had to endure for so long so much questions, wondering what could have happened to the man he once called father.
Douglas Hoagland said: “If you think you had two kids and you wanted to see them so bad, you think you’d be a little bit emotional. But this guy, nothing. There was nothing there.”
It’s not clear if the family he abandoned will get any money from Hoagland for what he owed then in missed child support since his assets are also the subject of an ongoing divorce proceeding in Florida.
But at least for the family, they can rest easy knowing their efforts paid off somehow to let the man face his past and his sins against them.