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Ex-politician in prison for adoption scheme loses appeal

Arizona Official Adoption Fraud
Posted at 5:06 PM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 19:06:02-05

PHOENIX (AP) — A former Arizona politician in prison for running an illegal adoption scheme in three states involving women from the Marshall Islands has lost an appeal of one of his sentences.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a six-year sentence given in Arkansas to Paul Petersen, a Republican who served as metro Phoenix's assessor for six years and also worked as an adoption attorney.

Prosecutors said Petersen illegally paid women to come to the U.S. to give up their babies in at least 70 adoptions cases in Arizona, Utah and Arkansas.

In all, Petersen was sentenced to 11 years in prison in Arizona and Arkansas.

He also was convicted in Utah.

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