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Utah News

Official Pleads Guilty To Human Smuggling In Adoption Scheme

A former Arizona politician has pleaded guilty in Utah to human smuggling charges in an illegal adoption scheme that stretched across three states and involved women from the Marshall Islands. Paul Petersen is a Republican who served as county assessor in metro Phoenix. The Friday pleas come after he struck an agreement with Arizona prosecutors on state Medicaid-fraud charges. A plea is expected next week in Arkansas. Petersen was accused of illegally paying women from the Pacific island nation to give up their babies in at least 70 adoption cases over three years.