By Jessica Boehm and Robert Anglen | Arizona Republic
A U.S. District judge sentenced former Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen to 74 months in federal prison for perpetrating illegal adoptions in what prosecutors called a “get-rich-quick scheme … hidden behind the shiny veneer of a humanitarian operation.”
The judge also fined Petersen $100,000.
“He subverted what should be a joyous time for everyone into a baby-selling enterprise. The conduct Mr. Petersen engaged in violates public policy. We don’t sell babies. That is the public policy of the United States of America,” U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks said during Petersen’s virtual sentencing hearing Tuesday morning.
Petersen has 14 days to appeal the sentence.
Petersen, who was arrested last year on charges related to human smuggling and Medicare fraud, could face additional time on state charges after he completes his federal sentence.