Former Maricopa County assessor to serve five years in prison for illegal adoption scheme

Former Maricopa County assessor to serve five years in prison for illegal adoption scheme
In this Nov. 15, 2019 file photo, Paul Petersen, an Arizona elected official accused of running a multi-state adoption scheme, leaves court following an initial appearance on charges filed in the state in Salt Lake City. (Source: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

MARICOPA COUNTY (KOLD News 13) - Former Maricopa County assessor Paul Petersen is sentenced to serve 5 years in state prison in Arizona, after his federal sentence is complete.

He was found guilty on four counts tied to his role in an illegal adoption scheme where he enrolled birth mothers in Arizona’s Medicaid system and cheated the state out of money.

He also forged documents to boost fees charged to adoptive parents.

Women were brought to the U.S. from the Marshall Islands, they gave birth in local hospitals and gave up their kids for adoption for large fees arranged by Petersen.

Petersen will also have to serve one day of community service for every 7 days of sentence imposed, which estimates to out to about 260 days.

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