Former county assessor must head to prison in adoption scheme

Paul Petersen/Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office

By 12 News

 Former Maricopa County Assessor Paul Petersen was sentenced in Arizona on Friday to five years in the Arizona Department of Corrections.

The judge said Petersen’s sentence will run consecutively, not concurrently to his 74-month federal sentence in Arkansas. 

Petersen had pleaded guilty to three counts of fraudulent schemes and practices and one count of forgery last June in Arizona.

The charges stemmed from his operation of an illegal adoption scheme in three states involving women from the Marshall Islands. 

At Petersen’s sentencing hearing on Friday, the state said it was asking that at a minimum, the court impose a sentence that requires Petersen to do additional time on top of what he’s serving currently, that he do time in the Arizona Department of Corrections on top of his federal time. 

He is currently serving a 6-year sentence for a federal conviction in Arkansas stemming from the same adoption scheme.


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