Arizona Adoption Attorney Arrested for Adoption Fraud and Alien Smuggling
The Trump Administration’s crackdown on human smuggling and trafficking continues.
Many unborn children may have just been saved from a horrid existence by The DOJ.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arizona adoption attorney is facing several federal charges in Arkansas after being arrested in California Tuesday evening.
Paul Petersen, who is an assessor in Maricopa County and an attorney that practices law in Arizona, Utah and Arkansas, reportedly “devised a scheme to defraud and obtain money and property from unknowing adoptive parents and others.”
According to the Department of Justice, Petersen would pay pregnant Marsallese women to travel to Arkansas and put their babies up for adoption. He allegedly bought airline tickets and had them hide the motive to travel from Republic of Marshall Islands and United States authorities.
“In furtherance of this scheme, Petersen caused adoption case files to be opened that were supported by documents containing fraudulent material false statements,” the DOJ press release stated.
Those documents were then filed in Washington and Polk counties.
Authorities say Petersen reportedly hid his involvement in the payments, transferring “more than one million dollars into a bank account.”
He has been charged with one count of conspiracy to smuggle illegal aliens for commercial advantage and private financial gain, four counts of aiding and abetting, seven counts of wire fraud, five counts of mail fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Here is a full report from the U.S. Department of Justice:
Arizona Adoption Attorney Arrested For Adoption Fraud And Alien Smuggling Fayetteville, Arkansas – Duane (DAK) Kees, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas; Andrew Parker, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS); Diane Upchurch, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI and Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas Attorney General announced today that Paul Petersen was arrested on federal charges. A federal grand jury in the Western District of Arkansas indicted Petersen on one count of Conspiracy to Smuggle Illegal Aliens for Commercial Advantage and Private Financial Gain, four counts of Aiding and Abetting in Alien Smuggling for Commercial Advantage and Private Financial Gain, seven counts of Wire Fraud, five counts of Mail Fraud, one count of Conspiracy to Commit Visa Fraud, and one count of Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering.
According to the Indictment, Petersen is a licensed attorney who practices law in Arizona, Utah, and Arkansas. Beginning in 2014, Petersen devised a scheme to defraud and obtain money and property from unknowing adoptive parents and others. He paid pregnant Marshallese women large sums of United States currency to induce them to travel to the Western District of Arkansas and to put their babies up for adoption in the Western District of Arkansas. He purchased airline tickets for them and caused them to conceal their true travel purpose from the authorities in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and the United States.
In furtherance of this scheme, Petersen caused adoption case files to be opened that were supported by documents containing fraudulent material false statements. He caused these court documents to be filed in the Circuit Clerk’s Offices in Washington and Polk counties and further caused case documents to be sent through the U.S. mail to government offices in Little Rock, Arkansas. Petersen is alleged to have intentionally concealed his involvement in the payments and conducted wire transactions to transfer more than one million dollars into a bank account.
The Indictment charges that Petersen, for the purpose of commercial advantage and private financial gain, encouraged and induced three RMI citizens to come to, enter, and reside in the United States when he knew it to be in violation of the law. Petersen conspired to cause them to make false claims to government officials and further conspired to transport and move them within the United States. The Indictment also charges that Petersen conducted wire communications in furtherance of his scheme to defraud and conspired to conduct financial transactions involving the proceeds of the aforementioned unlawful activities.
The DSS and the FBI are conducting the investigation and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Clay Fowlkes is prosecuting the case. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs of the Department’s Criminal Division also assisted in the investigation.
An Indictment is merely an accusation. An arrest warrant represents a finding of probable cause. A person is presumed innocent unless or until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Do you think all of those adopted babies were on their way to good, loving homes?
That’s highly doubtful.
Human trafficking is a business that preys largely on untraceable kids, and if these babies were to disappear it would take some masterful detective work to EVER track them down.
This seems like more of a prelude to child trafficking, but either way it was criminal.
They need to throw the book at Peterson.