Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Tuesday that his Child Support Division has filed a criminal charge against Bobby Deangelo "B.J." Askew, Jr., 33, of Tampa, Florida, for felony non-support.
Askew was a standout Michigan collegiate athlete and went on to play professional football as one of the league's highest paid fullbacks at the time. According to Schuette, he owes more than $267,000 in back child-support.
"If you fail to pay child support, you must face the consequences," said Schuette. "No matter who you are or where you live, you cannot punt the responsibility to provide for your children – we will hold you accountable."
A star fullback at the University of Michigan, Askew was the first fullback selected in the 2003 National Football League draft. Askew's professional career spanned seven seasons where he played for the New York Jets and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 2007, Askew was drafted by Tampa Bay and signed a four-year multi-million dollar contract extension with the Buccaneers in 2008, the largest ever for a fullback at that time.
It is alleged that although Askew enjoyed a lucrative professional football career, he failed to pay child support to his children in Michigan.
A court order was filed in 2005 for Askew to pay child support for his three children in Michigan and payments were to set begin May 2006 at a monthly rate of approximately $2,188.87. The court ordered payment increased to $5,127 monthly due to Askew's extended contract with Tampa Bay. Askew then allegedly made sporadic payments and submitted several arrears payments ranging from $13,058 to $35,310 after failing to pay on time and for the court ordered amount. In 2010, it is alleged that Askew underpaid $107.87 in lieu of a $5,127 monthly payment. Askew allegedly stopped child support payments altogether in November 2012 and has not paid since then.
Despite his alleged non-payments, Askew has received significant income from his NFL career and allegedly possesses multi-million dollar assets. In 2008, Askew signed a $8.3 million contract extension with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Askew is alleged to own a home valued at $2.1 million in Tampa and has owned several expensive automobiles whose brands include Bentley, Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, and Corvette.
Askew's career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was cut short by injuries from a car accident in 2009.
Askew was arrested on January 7, 2014 by Florida's Hillsborough County Police. Askew is currently in the process of extradition to Michigan and will face one count of felony non-support in Wayne County's 36th District Court.
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