A former Yale Medical School administrator has pleaded guilty to embezzling $40 million from the school in an electronics purchasing scheme.
According to federal prosecutors, Jamie Petrone, 42, took advantage of her position as the director of finance for the emergency medicine department to authorize equipment purchases without additional approvals, which weren’t required as long as the amounts were below $10,000, according to MarketWatch.
In total, prosecutors say she caused Yale $40,504,200 in losses – which she never declared as income on her ‘false’ tax returns for years 2013 through 2016. She filed no returns between 2017 and 2020, defrauding the IRS out of more than $6 million according to prosecutors.
Petrone, who began working at Yale in 1999 and then for the medical school in 2008, used the money to buy several properties across several states, as well as luxury cars which included Land Rovers, Cadillac Escalades and Mercedes Benz’s.
On Monday she pleaded guilty to wire fraud and filing false tax returns – for which she faces up to 30 years in prison. She is set to be sentenced in June, and is currently f ree on $1million bond.
The scheme began in 2013, when Petrone began making numerous small orders of tablet computers and other equipment, which she would then sell to a business in New York state, which would then send proceeds to a wedding photography and videography company she controlled.
Prosecutors say that in 2021 alone, she purchased more than 8,000 tablet computers, all in orders smaller than $10,000. In one 10-week period that year, she ordered $2.1 million worth of equipment.
During the eight years that authorities say she ran the scam, Petrone told investigators that “90% of her computer-related purchases were fraudulent,” according to court documents.
To explain the purchases to university officials, Petrone would claim the equipment was needed for certain medical studies being performed at the school, according to court papers. -Marketwatch
Yale alerted authorities to the fraud last year after discovering “evidence of suspected criminal behavior.
“Since the incident, Yale has worked to identify and correct gaps in its internal financial controls,” said the university.
In addition to three properties that she co-owns in Connecticut and another in Georgia, Petrone has agreed to forefit $560,421.14 that was seized from her accounts, two Mercedes-Benzes valued at $135,000, a $90,000 Range Rover, two Cadillac Escalades and a Dodge Charger.