LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An attorney in Utah and Arizona with ties to Northwest Arkansas has been indicted in an adoption scheme.
If he is found guilty on all of these charges he will face up to 315 years in prison.
Investigators say that Paul Petersen recruited, transported, and offered payment to pregnant Marshallese women to give their babies up for adoption in the United States.
In a press conference earlier today U.S. Attorney of the Western District of Arkansas Dak Kees said that Petersen enticed and misled several women from the Marshal Islands to illegally travel to the US in order to give birth and give their babies up for adoption before returning home.
“On multiple occasions Mr. Petersen knowingly submitted fraudulent documents to the Arkansas courts in order to disguise the illegality of these adoptions and to inflate the costs of these adoptions.”
The United States and the Marshall Islands have an agreement that prohibits this type of international adoption.
On top of jail time he could face about 5 million dollars in fines.