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Maricopa County Assessor Indicted On Adoption Fraud Charges

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

The Maricopa County Assessor has been indicted in an adoption fraud scheme. The Arizona Attorney General's Office has confirmed the 32-count federal indictment against Paul Petersen for conspiracy, theft, forgery and 29 counts of fraudulent schemes.

Authorities say Petersen has for years allegedly run an adoption law practice in Mesa that involves bringing women from the Marshall Islands to the U.S. to give birth.

The indictment says Petersen illegally obtained services from Arizona's Medicaid system for the women by falsely claiming they are Arizona residents. The indictment says he also violated a law prohibiting citizens of the Marshall Islands from traveling to the U.S. for the purpose of adoptions.

Lynwood Jennet was also named in the indictment, although additional information about Jennet was not immediately available.