Yale employee stole $40 million from medical school for luxury homes and cars, prosecutors say
A former Yale School of Medicine employee stole $40 million worth of computers and electronics from the school and sold the goods to fund a lavish lifestyle that included luxury cars, multiple properties and travel, have prosecutors said.
Jamie Petrone, 42, of Lithia Springs, Georgia, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return Monday in federal court in Hartford, the U.S. District Attorney’s Office of Connecticut. announcement in a press release.
She allegedly ran an eight-year scheme starting in 2013 that caused Yale to lose $40,504,200, prosecutors said.
Petrone began working for the medical school at the Emergency Medicine Service in 2008, officials said. She was until recently director of finance and administration for the department.
Petrone had the authority to make and authorize purchases for the department with a cap of $10,000, the statement said.
Since 2013 at the latest, she has ordered or had other staff order millions of dollars worth of electronic equipment, such as iPads and Microsoft Surface Pro tablets, from vendors using Yale Med funds, said the prosecutors. Petrone then arranged for the material to be shipped to an out-of-state company in New York, which resold the goods, they said.
The company then wired money to an account for a company called Maziv Entertainment LLC, of which it is a lead, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors accused Petrone of misrepresenting on Yale’s internal forms and electronic communications that the material was for the specific needs of the medical school. It also split purchases into orders below the $10,000 threshold to avoid oversight, the statement said.
Prosecutors said Petrone used the money from the sale of the stolen goods for real estate, travel, expensive cars and other personal expenses. She had to give up six luxury cars: two Mercedes-Benzes, two Cadillac Escalades, a Dodge Charger and a Range Rover, according to the statement.
She also failed to pay taxes on money from stolen equipment, which cost the US Treasury more than $6 million, prosecutors said.
According to the release, Petrone filed false federal tax returns from 2013 to 2016 claiming the costs of the stolen equipment as business expenses. She did not file any federal income tax returns from 2017 to 2020, prosecutors said.
The investigation, led by the FBI and IRS, began in August based on information provided by Yale, according to an affidavit.
Petrone estimated that 90% of its computer-related purchases were fraudulent, she told investigators in a voluntary statement, according to the affidavit.
She was arrested in September and later released on $1 million bail pending sentencing, officials said.
Petrone has already lost some of the luxury goods it allegedly bought with stolen money.
She agreed to confiscate more than $560,000 seized from Maziv Entertainment LLC’s bank account, in addition to the six cars. Petrone also liquidated three Connecticut properties it owns or co-owns to satisfy its restitution obligation. A Georgian property she owns is also subject to seizure and liquidation, prosecutors said.
“Ms. Petrone has accepted responsibility for her actions and is remorseful,” Petrone’s attorney, Frank J. Riccio II, said Wednesday morning. were caused.”
The wire fraud charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and the tax misrepresentation charge carries a maximum sentence of three years.
His sentencing is scheduled for June 29.