Paul Peterson, an Adoption lawyer, and Maricopa County Assessor, is currently facing federal charges resulting from his involvement with a multimillion-dollar adoption scheme where he allegedly smuggled over 40 pregnant women from the Marshall islands into the U.S., according to Fox News.
The allegations against Peterson also claimed that he promised the women who were smuggled that he would give them $10,000 in exchange for their babies to be sold in Utah. “The commercialization of children is illegal, and the commoditization of children is simply evil,” stated Attorney General Sean Reyes regarding the case.
Families that purchased children from Peterson paid in excess of $25,000 to $40,000 per adoption, leading to Peterson acquiring over $2.7 million in profit in less than two years. According to the report, Peterson is being charged with 11 second and third-degree felonies in Utah, which includes human smuggling, sale of a child, communications fraud and pattern of unlawful activity.