12 News I-Team has obtained a copy of Lynwood Jennet’s initial interview with investigators. Jennet was charged with former Maricopa Regency Judge Paul Petersen for alleged international adoption schemes. He has since pleaded guilty to conspiracy and theft.
“This is about my work, isn’t it? Or what did I do for Paul? “Lynwood Jennet asked in an August interview with NKRI Security Investigation agents and DPS investigators.
Two months before Petersen’s arrest, the woman was accused of helping her open up for investigators.
“Anything you say can and will be used against you,” read the HSI special agent.
Jennet, who is from the Marshall Islands, said she first met Petersen after she helped him put two of his own children into adoption.
“After that, people, friends or family, reach out to me and ask me who I gave – what agency or lawyer I went through with my adoption and I told them that it was Paul,” Jennet said.
From there, Jennet began working for Petersen and for six or seven years, she claimed to have helped her bring pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to Arizona.
Documents say there are more than two dozen women. Jennet said she then watched them in a Mesa apartment owned by Petersen until the women gave birth and then gave their babies for adoption.
“How much did you pay them?” asked an investigator.
“I didn’t pay them. He paid them,” Jennet said.
“Do you know how much he paid?” asked an investigator.
“He gave them a thousand dollars,” Jennet said.
“A month?” asked an investigator.
“A month,” Jennet said.
According to the agreement between the United States and the Marshall Islands, it is illegal for Marshall women to come to the United States for the purpose of adoption. Jennet told investigators that she knew about compact and said that women came here for a better life.
“They want to leave because they are fighting back home,” Jennet said.
According to Jennet, part of the struggle was the prostitution camp on the Marshall Islands where she said many of the pregnant women she and Petersen worked with were from. Jennet claims the Marshall businessman or government manages the camp.
“How young were they when they entered there?” asked the DPS investigator.
“Starting from 15, 16 to little girls sent from other islands,” said Jennet.
“Is Paul involved in these camps?” He asked.
“No, no, no, no, no,” Jennet assured.
“No? Okay,” the investigator said.
“The reason I’m referring to the camps is because it’s just sad,” Jennet said.
In Utah and Arkansas, Petersen faces charges related to human smuggling but the alleged Medicaid fraud is at the core of an Arizona investigation. Petersen and Jennet are falsely accused of claiming that Marshall women are Arizona residents so they can benefit from health care during their pregnancy.
Many of the AHCCC documents mention Lynwood Jennet as the caregiver and primary contact of every woman.
“Did Paul also tell you to do the AHCCC for the girls?” asked an investigator.
“Yes,” Jennet answered.
“Okay, why?” said the investigator.
“Why AHCCCS?” Said Jennet.
“Yes, why?” He asked.
“Because he can’t cover hospital bills,” Jennet said.
“Is that what he said?” asked the investigator.
“I don’t know. No, that’s not what he said,” Jennet said.
“That’s what you just said,” the investigator said.
“I said, I don’t think he wants to cover the hospital bills because it’s too expensive. I don’t know, but that’s what I said to do. To apply for AHCCCS,” Jennet said.
After nearly three hours of testimony, in which investigators explained that they would pursue Petersen, the authorities released Jennet.
“As promised, you are released,” said the HSI investigator.
Petersen pleaded not guilty to all charges. He is scheduled in court in Utah in mid-June for a three-day preliminary hearing.
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