PHOENIX, AZ (KPHO/KTVK/CNN) – An Arizona elected official has been arrested for adoption fraud after a multi-state investigation.
Paul Peterson is the Maricopa County assessor as well as an adoption attorney.
According to court records, Petersen offered payment and “transported over 40 Marshallese pregnant women” to Utah over the last three years in order for the women to give up their children for adoption.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands is located in the pacific — halfway between Hawaii and Australia.
Court documents say Petersen lied on legal documents to say the women were from Arizona so that they could get Medicaid.
He’s charged with eleven felonies — including human smuggling, sale of a child and communications fraud.