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Arizona politician's alleged adoption aide pleads guilty

Posted at 1:52 PM, Dec 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-20 19:47:47-05

PHOENIX (AP) - A woman accused of aiding a politician in metro Phoenix in what authorities say was an illegal adoption scheme involving women from the Marshall Islands has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and theft charges.

Lynwood Jennet admitted in court Thursday that she helped arrange benefits from Arizona's Medicaid program for expecting mothers who did not reside in the state.

Authorities say Jennet arranged the health benefits at the direction of Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen, who also works as an adoption attorney.

They say the scheme cost the state $800,000 in health care expenses. Petersen has pleaded not guilty to similar charges and to human smuggling charges.