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A nearly decade-long scheme to steal millions of dollars worth of computers and iPads from Yale University’s medical school is officially over.
Former Yale administrator Jamie Petrone, 42, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Hartford, Conn., to two counts of wire fraud and a tax offense for his role in the conspiracy.
Petrone’s scheme began as early as 2013 and continued until 2021 while she was working at the university, according to the Connecticut District Attorney’s Office.
Until recently, she was director of finance and administration for Yale’s Department of Emergency Medicine. As part of this job, Petrone had the authority to make and authorize certain purchases for the department – as long as the amount was less than $10,000.
Starting in 2013, Petrone would order, or have a staff member order, computers and other electronics, which totaled thousands of items over the years, from Yale vendors using the money from the Yale School of Medicine. She would then arrange to ship the stolen equipment, costing millions of dollars, to a New York firm, in exchange for money once the electronics were resold.
Those purchases included iPads and Microsoft Surface Pros, according to court records.
Investigators said Petrone would report on documents at the school that the equipment was for specific needs at the university, such as studying medicine that ultimately did not exist. She would split fraudulent purchases into orders under $10,000 each so she wouldn’t need to get additional approval from school officials.
Petrone would itself ship this equipment to the third-party company who would resell the equipment. He would later pay Petrone by transferring funds to an account at Maziv Entertainment LLC, a company she started.
Petrone used the money to live the high life, buy real estate and travel, according to federal prosecutors. She also bought luxury cars. At the time of her guilty plea, she was in possession of two Mercedes-Benz vehicles, two Cadillac Escalades, a Dodge Charger and a Range Rover.
In June 2020, the high volume of equipment orders caught the eye at Yale. But that was eventually explained by Petrone, who said his department was just updating its computer equipment.
His scheme continued successfully until August 2021, when Yale officials received an anonymous tip that Petrone was ordering “suspicious volumes of computer equipment,” according to court records. These orders were made more suspect by the fact that Petrone put some of the packages in his own car.
Later that month, Yale auditors rummaged through Petrone’s purchase orders and emails, among other things, ultimately reporting their findings to law enforcement.
At the time of her guilty plea, she agreed to forfeit the luxury vehicles as well as three homes in Connecticut. Property she owns in Georgia can also be seized.
Petrone also agreed to confiscate more than $560,000 seized from Maziv Entertainment LLC’s bank account.
Federal prosecutors say Yale’s loss is approximately $40,504,200.