Crime: Arizona Official Smuggled Pregnant Women Into the U.S. and Paid Them to Give Up Their Babies: Authorities - PressFrom - US
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Crime Arizona Official Smuggled Pregnant Women Into the U.S. and Paid Them to Give Up Their Babies: Authorities

01:00  10 october  2019
01:00  10 october  2019 Source:   thedailybeast.com

Arizona official charged with human smuggling after bringing more than 40 pregnant woman to the US

  Arizona official charged with human smuggling after bringing more than 40 pregnant woman to the US An Arizona elected official is facing dozens of charges in three states in connection with a multimillion-dollar adoption scheme in which he allegedly smuggled more than 40 women into the U.S. from the Marshall Islands, promising them money in exchange for their babies. © Maricopa County Sheriff's Office via AP Arizona official charged with human smuggling after bringing more than 40 pregnant woman to the US Authorities believe Paul Peterson, an adoption lawyer and Maricopa County Assessor was the head of a smuggling ring that allegedly recruited Marshallese women "and offered a significant amount of money to place their babies for adoptio

Adoption lawyer smuggled pregnant women into the U . S . and paid them to give up their babies , authorities say. Petersen and Jennet claimed the pregnant women were Arizona residents so they could receive medical services from Arizona ’ s Medicaid system, according to the indictment.

U . S . officials said Turkish defense officials had also notified a U . S . general based in Ankara as Washington’ s military attache early Wednesday that Turkey’ s operation in Syria Adoption lawyer smuggled pregnant women into the U . S . and paid them to give up their babies , authorities say.

An Arizona official faces charges in two states for his alleged role in an international adoption fraud scheme that involved smuggling pregnant women into the U.S. from the Marshall Islands, and then paying them to give up their babies, according to court documents.

a group of people posing for the camera: MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE© Provided by The Daily Beast MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen was charged Tuesday night with 11 felony offenses, including human smuggling, the sale of a child, and communications fraud, the Utah Attorney General’s Office said during a Wednesday press conference.

“The commercialization of children is illegal and the commoditization of children is simply evil,” Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes said, adding that authorities “have no interest in interfering with adoptions that have already taken place.”

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.

Kurdish officials have warned they are already struggling to control a camp that holds as many as 30 Kotey recalled having prisoners hold up signs urging their governments and families to “be quick or Adoption lawyer smuggled pregnant women into the U . S . and paid them to give up their

Their babies have been placed for adoption with U . S . parents. The Utah attorney general alleged that Petersen recruited more than 40 pregnant women from the Marshall Islands over the past three years and transported them to Utah, where they were paid to give up their children for adoption in

Peterson, an adoption lawyer who is licensed in Arizona and Utah, was also hit with charges in Arizona, including conspiracy and theft, according to a Tuesday indictment filed by the state’s Attorney General’s Office. He was arrested in California, officials said.

Prosecutors allege Petersen “recruited” and transported more than 40 pregnant women from the Republic of the Marshall Islands—a country of islands between Hawaii and the Philippines—to Utah over the last three years. Reyes said Peterson first established a connection with the Marshall Islands through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

After the children were born, Peterson allegedly offered the women money to give their babies up to U.S. parents and allegedly charged $40,00 per adoption, according to the indictment. The elected GOP official allegedly failed to disclose the scheme to his adoptive parent clients.

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.

Arizona official charged with human smuggling in adoption fraud. October 9, 2019 / 6:07 Petersen has for years run an adoption law practice in Mesa that involves bringing women from the Marshall Islands to the U . S . to give birth. Their babies are then adopted by U . S . parents, authorities said.

Their babies are then adopted by U . S . parents, authorities said. Petersen illegally obtained services from Arizona ' s Medicaid system for the women by falsely claiming they are Arizona residents, the Petersen is accused of transporting more than 40 pregnant Marshall Islands women into Utah during

Arizona and Utah investigators said Wednesday they believe at least 29 babies, some of whom were brought to other states to be adopted, are victims of the scheme.

Reyes added Utah authorities were first alerted to the scheme after concerned hospital workers and adoption lawyers called a human trafficking tip line. On Tuesday evening, Arizona authorities executed search warrants in multiple locations and found eight pregnant women from the Marshall Islands inside a Mesa home. It is not immediately clear what connection Petersen has to the property.

“We are thinking of the birth mothers, adoptive families and children in this case as victims,” Reyes said, adding that Peterson’s alleged scheme “exploited highly vulnerable groups in two countries—the birth mothers and families in the Marshall Islands and the adoptive parents here in Utah.”

The 32-count indictment filed in the Superior Court of Arizona alleges Petersen and his colleague, Lynwood Jennet, also organized travel for “pregnant women from the Republic of the Marshall Islands to come to Arizona for the purpose of giving a child up for adoption.”

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.

Their babies are then adopted by U . S . parents, authorities said. Petersen illegally obtained services from Arizona ' s Medicaid system for the women by falsely claiming they are Arizona Petersen is accused of transporting more than 40 pregnant Marshall Islands women into Utah during the past

Their babies are then adopted by U . S . parents, authorities said. Petersen illegally obtained services from Arizona ' s Medicaid system for the women by falsely claiming they are Arizona residents, the Petersen is accused of transporting more than 40 pregnant Marshall Islands women into Utah during

Prosecutors say Peterson claimed these women as Arizona residents in order to receive medical services from the state’s Medicaid system.

“After the birth of the child, Paul D. Petersen and Lynwood Jennett facilitated travel for these women to leave Arizona,” the indictment alleges. “In several instances the women returned directly to the [Republic of the Marshall Islands.”

The scheme also allegedly violated the 1983 compact with the Republic of the Marshall Islands that prevents the island’s citizens from coming to the U.S. “for the purpose of adoption” unless they have a special visa.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich emphasized in a press conference Wednesday that the families who fell victim to the alleged scheme are not being investigated.

“These adoptions are not in jeopardy. Our focus is on the individuals who facilitated these adoptions,” Brnovich said.

Peterson was first appointed as Maricopa County assessor in 2013 after serving as the office’s liaison to the legislature. The Republican candidate was re-elected in 2016 in an unopposed election.

According to his website, the father of four has been working with adoptive parents for almost 15 years and is also an active member of the Maricopa County Republican Party and the Arizona Republican Party.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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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.

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