A nearly decade-long plan to steal millions of dollars of computers and iPads from Yale University’s School of Medicine has officially ended.
Former Yale administrator Jamie Petrone, 42, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Hartford, Connecticut, to two counts of computer fraud and a tax offense for his role in the plot.
Petrone’s ploy began way back in 2013 and continued until 2021 while he was working at the university, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.
Until recently, his role was the director of finance and administration for the Department of Emergency Medicine at Yale. As part of this work, Petrone had the authority to make and authorize certain purchases for the department, as long as the amount was less than $ 10,000.
As of 2013, Petrone allegedly ordered, or had a member of his staff order, computers and other electronic devices, totaling thousands of items over the years, from Yale suppliers using money from Yale School of Medicine. She would then arrange to ship the stolen hardware, costing millions of dollars, to a New York company in exchange for money once the electronics were resold.
Those purchases included iPad and Microsoft Surface Pro, according to court records.
Investigators said Petrone reportedly reported on documents to the school that the equipment was for specific needs of the university, such as medical offices that ultimately did not exist. She would break the fraudulent purchases into orders of less than $ 10,000 each so that she doesn’t need to get further approval from school officials.
Petrone would have shipped this equipment himself to a third party company who would resell the equipment. She would later pay Petrone by transferring funds to an account of Maziv Entertainment LLC, a company she created.
Petrone used the money to live a social life, buy real estate and travel, federal prosecutors say. He also bought luxury cars. At the time of his guilty plea, he 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 Yale’s attention. But it was ultimately explained by Petrone, who said her department was simply updating her computer equipment.
His plan continued successfully until August 2021, when Yale officials received an anonymous tip that Petrone was ordering “suspicious volumes of computer equipment,” court documents say. These orders were made more suspicious by the fact that Petrone was putting some of the packages in the same car as her.
Later that month, Yale’s auditors dug into Petrone’s purchase orders and his emails, among other things, eventually turned over their findings to law enforcement.
At the time of his guilty plea, he agreed to forgo the luxury vehicles and three homes in Connecticut. He could also be seized a property he owns in Georgia.
Petrone also agreed to forfeit more than $ 560,000 seized from Maziv Entertainment LLC’s bank account.
Federal prosecutors say the loss to Yale amounts to approximately $ 40,504,200.
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