Crime: What to know about indicted Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen - PressFrom - US
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Crime What to know about indicted Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen

17:50  09 october  2019
17:50  09 october  2019 Source:   azcentral.com

What happens to the Marshall Islands women in the Paul Petersen case?

  What happens to the Marshall Islands women in the Paul Petersen case? State troopers found eight pregnant women in a cramped Mesa residence owned by Paul Petersen on Oct. 8. It appears they have stayed put.Petersen now is in federal custody after initially being booked into a Maricopa County jail.

The 32- count indictment alleges conspiracy, theft, forgery and 29 counts of fraudulent schemes. Petersen was indicted along with another person, Lynwood Arizona Department of Public Safety investigators searched the Mesa law office of Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen on Oct.

PHOENIX — The assessor of Arizona’s largest county has been indicted in an adoption fraud scheme. The Arizona Republic reports the Arizona Attorney General’s Office has confirmed the 32- count federal indictment Tuesday against Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen for

The private law office of Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen makes clear what his practice is all about: helping to facilitate private adoptions that can take place "without direct involvement'' of a third party, such as an adoption agency or the state.

Lawyer says Arizona official miscast as human smuggler

  Lawyer says Arizona official miscast as human smuggler PHOENIX (AP) — A lawyer for an Arizona elected official charged in three states in an international adoption scheme said Tuesday prosecutors have miscast his client as a human smuggler. Attorney Matt Long said Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen cares deeply for the mothers from the Marshall Islands whom he connected with adoptive parents in the United States. Prosecutors say Petersen paid the women up to $10,000 to come to the United States, where they were crammed into houses to wait to give birth and provide their babies for adoption.

The assessor of Arizona's largest county has been indicted in an adoption fraud scheme after he was accused of illegally flying women from the Marshall Islands to the U.S. so they could give birth and hand the babies over to American parents. Paul Petersen , who is licensed in Utah and Arizona, is said to

The assessor of Arizona's largest county has been indicted for 11 felony offenses, including human smuggling, sale of The Arizona Attorney General's Office confirmed the 32- count federal indictment Tuesday against Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen for conspiracy, theft, forgery, and 29

Petersen is in his second term as assessor. He won a special election in 2014 to replace Keith Russell and was reelected in 2016. His biography on the assessor's website makes clear that he "continues to practice law from his Mesa-based law office, and his law practice remains committed to helping people all across the country in their effort to adopt children.''

On Tuesday, the Arizona Attorney General's Office announced Petersen had been indicted in an adoption fraud scheme that involves women from the Marshall Islands brought to the U.S. to give birth. Their babies then are adopted out to U.S. parents.

Petersen is accused of illegally obtaining services from Arizona's Medicaid system for the women, falsely claiming the women are Arizona residents. He also is accused of violating a compact between the U.S. and the Marshall Islands. It prohibits citizens of that country to come to the U.S. if their travel is for the purpose of adoption, unless they have a special visa.

Who's Lynwood Jennet, the Marshallese woman who helped Paul Petersen?

  Who's Lynwood Jennet, the Marshallese woman who helped Paul Petersen? Lynwood Jennet served as Paul Petersen's link to pregnant Marshallese women as facilitator, translator, driver and medical contact, prosecutors say.Another person was indicted as Petersen's co-conspirator: a Marshallese woman named Lynwood Jennet, 45, who has worked for Petersen for six years, according to court documents.

PHOENIX (AP) — The assessor of Arizona's largest county has been indicted for 11 felony offenses, including human smuggling, sale of a The Arizona Attorney General's Office confirmed the 32- count federal indictment Tuesday against Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen for conspiracy, theft

PHOENIX (AP) — The assessor of Arizona's largest county has been indicted for 11 felony offenses, including human smuggling, sale of a The Arizona Attorney General's Office confirmed the 32- count federal indictment Tuesday against Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen for conspiracy, theft

INDICTED: Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen accused of adoption fraud

On Petersen's law office website, an unsigned blog post dated Feb. 2, 2018, talks about adoption and the Marshall Islands, under the headline "Widening Family Circles: The unique beauty of Marshallese tradition.''

Here is a closer look at Petersen's background and law practice:

Deep Arizona roots, based in Mesa

Petersen's bio says he is a fifth-generation Arizonan whose family traces its roots back to territorial days. He's a lifelong resident of Mesa, where he lives with his wife and four children.

Petersen earned an undergraduate degree from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and in 2002 earned his law degree from ASU's Sandra Day O'Connor School of Law.

AG: Paul Petersen illegally brought women to Mesa in adoption scheme

  AG: Paul Petersen illegally brought women to Mesa in adoption scheme Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen arranged for 28 pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to travel to Arizona, the state Attorney General said.It is illegal for Marshallese women to travel to the United States for the purpose of adoption.

Maricopa County Assessor at Maricopa County . Phoenix, Arizona Area. The Maricopa County Assessor 's Office has 301 full-time employees and an annual budget of nearly million. View Paul Petersen ’s full profile to See who you know in common. Get introduced.

The assessor of Arizona's largest county has been indicted for 11 felony offenses, including human smuggling, sale of The Arizona Attorney General's Office confirmed the 32- count federal indictment Tuesday against Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen for conspiracy, theft, forgery, and 29

Petersen's law practice has focused on adoption for about 15 years, but before winning the special election in 2014, he worked in the Assessor's Office as its representative at the state Legislature and as public information officer. He is a Republican who has been active in party politics for years.

How his adoption law practice works

Petersen's law practice is based in Mesa. He practices in Arizona, Utah and Arkansas, according to his website. It describes the firm as "a dedicated law practice focused on family formation through adoption.''

The site also says Petersen is general counsel for Bright Start Adoptions, an agency with offices in Mesa and Tucson.

The site includes several client testimonials for his private adoption work and notes that the cost for his services can range from $30,000 to $40,000 for a single adoption.

A notable blog post talks about "Marshallese Tradition,'' and what it calls the cultural differences between adoption in the United States and the Marshall Islands.

"What American society calls adoption is mostly legalistic, and formal. The act of adoption among Marshallese creates a kinship, a bond, between birth and adoptive parents,'' the blog says.

Paul Petersen: How many women came here to give birth?

  Paul Petersen: How many women came here to give birth? As many as 70 pregnant women from the Marshall Islands may have traveled to the U.S. in an adoption scheme by Paul Petersen, officials say.Dozens of adoptive parents.

Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen indicted in adoption fraud.

The assessor of Arizona's largest county has been indicted for 11 felony offenses, including human smuggling, sale of The Arizona Attorney General's Office confirmed the 32- count federal indictment Tuesday against Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen for conspiracy, theft, forgery, and 29

It goes on to describe a "shared connection'' to the child between birth and adoptive parents.

"Traditional Marshallese adoptions do not include total denial of parental rights. Birth parents continue to have a relationship with their child. And their biological connection is known. No stigma is connected to the child, and the child is considered shared among both parents."

The blog adds, "Unlike American adoptions, in the Marshall Islands being adopted means you have an additional set of parents. Yes, bonus parents, rather than the exchange of parents."

The blog goes on to explain how the firm believes such "open adoptions are the most rewarding'' for all parties involved.

"Paul lived in the Marshall Islands and came to understand the beauty in the sense of community there. Returning to the U.S., he wanted to build families and blend the strengths of both cultures’ adoption practices.''

Petersen's law office website says he has many resources and contacts in Arizona, Arkansas and Utah that have helped him in his practice identify birth parents and match them with a couple or individual looking to adopt.

The website notes that 45 states have laws allowing private adoption arrangements.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: What to know about indicted Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen

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