A former administrator at Yale University School of Medicine has pleaded guilty to stealing $40 million from the school in a nearly decade-long computer and electronics purchase scam.
Federal prosecutors say Jamie Petrone, 42, used the money to buy a fleet of luxury cars including Mercedes, Land Rover and Cadillac Escalades, numerous properties in several states and to pay for lavish travel.
She pleaded guilty Monday to counts of wire fraud and filing false tax returns. If she is convicted in June, she faces up to 30 years in prison. Until then, she’s free on a $1 million bond. Her attorney did not immediately respond for comment.
“ “90% of their computer-related purchases were fraudulent.” ”
Petrone began working for Yale in 1999 and for the medical school in 2008. Most recently, she served as finance director for the Department of Emergency Medicine. As part of her job, she could authorize equipment purchases without additional permits as long as orders were under $10,000, prosecutors said.
In 2013, according to prosecutors, Petrone began taking numerous small orders of tablet computers and other devices that the school was billed for. She then sold them to a company in upstate New York and had them deposited money into the account of a wedding photography and videography company she controlled.
Prosecutors say she bought more than 8,000 tablet computers in 2021 alone, all in orders less than $10,000. In a 10-week period that year, she ordered $2.1 million worth of equipment.
During the eight years that authorities say she carried out the scam, Petrone told investigators that “90% of her computer-related purchases were fraudulent,” according to court documents.
Explaining the purchases to university officials, Petrone claimed that the equipment was needed for certain medical studies being conducted at the school, according to court filings.
In a statement, Yale said it first alerted authorities last year after finding “evidence of suspected criminal conduct.”
“Since the incident, Yale has worked to identify and address gaps in its internal financial controls,” the school said.
In all, prosecutors say Petrone caused Yale losses of $40,504,200. They also say Petrone never declared any income on their taxes, filed false returns for 2013 through 2016, and made no returns at all between 2017 and 2020. In all, she defrauded the IRS of over $6 million, according to prosecutors.
As part of her guilty plea, Petrone agreed to forfeit $560,421.14 seized from her accounts, two $135,000 Mercedes-Benzes, a $90,000 Range Rover, two Cadillac Escalades and a Dodge Charger. She has also agreed to surrender three properties in Connecticut and another in Georgia of which she co-owns.
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/former-yale-administrator-stole-40-million-pretending-to-buy-computer-equipment-for-the-university-instead-she-bought-a-fleet-of-luxury-cars-and-three-houses-11648578254?rss=1&siteid=rss The former Yale administrator stole $40 million and pretended to buy computer equipment for the university. Instead, she bought a fleet of luxury cars and three houses