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Ex-Arizona politician in adoption scheme must head to prison

DPS  raids home of Maricopa County Assessor Paul D. Petersen
Posted at 9:09 AM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 11:09:11-05

PHOENIX (AP) — A former Arizona politician must report to prison by midday Thursday to begin serving the first of what will be three sentences stemming from an illegal adoption scheme.

Former Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen acknowledged running the scheme involving pregnant women from the Marshall Islands in three U.S. states. Petersen was sentenced to 6 years in federal prison after pleading guilty in Arkansas to conspiring to commit human smuggling.

Petersen is awaiting sentencing in Arizona for fraud convictions and in Utah for human smuggling and other convictions. Kurt Altman is Petersen’s attorney, and he didn’t return phone and email messages seeking comment on behalf of his client.