CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A man once dubbed by prosecutors as the government's most wanted deadbeat parent pleaded guilty Thursday to owing more than $1.2 million to three children from two failed marriages.

Robert Sand, 50, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, on Long Island, to two counts of failing to pay child support. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Bode said the child-support orders have been in arrears since at least 2002.

The figure cited by Bode includes interest and penalties.

Sand told the judge he fled first to Florida and then to Thailand. Sand's attorney, Glenn Obedin, said his client had grown tired of living on the run and contacted authorities late last year.

Sand left Thailand and flew to the Philippines. He was arrested and then deported from the Philippines in November because he lacked identification, prosecutors said. He was sent to Los Angeles, where he was arrested by federal marshals, and then extradited to New York, where he has been held since December.

He faces up to four years in prison when he is sentenced in May.

"Neither court orders nor the familial bond meant anything to him," U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said.