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Ex-politician in adoption scheme to be sentenced in 3 states

Arizona Official Adoption Fraud
Posted at 4:10 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 18:11:54-05

PHOENIX (AP) — Prosecutors in Arkansas will seek a 10-year prison sentence next week for a former Arizona politician who acknowledged running an illegal adoption scheme in three states involving women from the Marshall Islands.

Prosecutors said former Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen defrauded state courts, violated an international adoption compact and took advantage of birth mothers.

Petersen is a Republican who also worked as an adoption attorney.

He faces sentencings in January for convictions in Arizona and Utah.

Petersen said he accepts the consequences of his actions.

His plea in court papers for leniency was accompanied by letters of support from some adoptive families.