Marshall Islands President Speaks Out On Petersen Case
The government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands says it is pleased with the arrest of Paul Petersen and others in connection with what prosecutors have said was an illegal adoption scheme in multiple states.
The country’s president spoke out on the same day that one of Petersen’s alleged co-conspirators was due in Maricopa County Superior Court.
Lynwood Jennet pleaded not guilty to more than 30 charges of fraud, conspiracy, theft and forgery, a court official said.
Court records say Petersen had Jennet write affidavits to the Arizona Department of Economic Security. The sworn statements reportedly said that pregnant Marshallese women lived with Jennet so they could establish residency and get state-funded Medicaid.
Jennet is due in court again in November.
Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine released a written statement saying “Marshallese women have been induced by people like Petersen and his ilk for too long.”
Heine also said that she believes there are “other illegal adoption rings out there that must be stopped.”