A former administrator at the Yale University School of Medicine has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax offenses after stealing $40 million in computer and electronic hardware from the institution.
Before the scheme was discovered, Jamie Petrone, 42, acted as the finance and administration director for Yale’s Department of Emergency Medicine. This allowed her to make purchases under $10,000.
Beginning in 2013, Petrone bought thousands of computers and electronics, including iPads and Microsoft Surface Pros, from Yale vendors. Court documents show that she then sold the goods to a business in New York.
Petrone falsely reported that nonexistent medical studies within the department needed the equipment, ensuring that the fraudulent purchases were below $10,000 to avoid the need for approval from higher university officials.
Busting the Fraudster
The fraud totaled $40,504,200, and Petrone used the profits to fund an expensive lifestyle, including international travel, luxury cars, and multiple properties.
University leaders first questioned Petrone’s activities in June 2020 after an unusually high volume of orders was detected. She allayed their suspicions by telling them that the department was due for an equipment upgrade.
However, an anonymous tip to Yale officials in August 2021 ended the charade. Their suspicions heightened when they learned that Petrone had placed some of the orders in her personal car, prompting an investigation into Petrone’s purchase orders and emails.
She has been ordered to surrender three properties in Connecticut and luxury cars, including two Mercedes-Benz, two Cadillac Escalades, a Dodge Charger, and a Range Rover.