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America's most delinquent father was ordered Wednesday to serve 18 months in prison for failing to pay more than $74,000 in child support over the last 10 years.

Gregory Morey, 35, of Scottsdale was at the top of a ``most wanted' list circulated in May by the National Council of State Child Support Enforcement Administrators. He was taken into custody immediately after being sentenced by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Robert Gottfield.The coffee shop manager had pleaded guilty to two felony counts of failing provide child support. He appeared shaken by the prison term, which was ordered despite his pleas for leniency and his renewed pledge to make good on the $66,600 he promised to pay in an Oct. 2 agreement.

Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods, who made a rare court appearance to urge incarceration for Morey, hailed Gottfield's decision as an important one.

Records show that as part of a 1981 divorce decree Morey was ordered to pay $600 a month in child support to help his ex-wife, Susan Aldrich of Phoenix, raise their three children. She never received one dollar of the more than $100,000 in child support, spousal maintenance and interest owed her, court records indicate.

Morey testified Wednesday that he loved his children and knew of his obligations but withheld child support because Aldrich would not grant him visitation.


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