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Yale Medical School administrator admits to $40 million theft scheme where she stole and resold computer equipment

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Edmund H. Mahony

Hartford Courant

HARTFORD, Conn. — An administrator at Yale’s University’s school of medicine admitted in court Monday that she stole millions of dollars from the school by purchasing $40 million or more in computer equipment through school accounts and secretly reselling it for her own profit.

For years, Jamie Petrone, lead administrator at the medical school’s emergency medicine department, was authorized to purchase computer electronics for the school without approval as long as the purchase amounts were below $10,000. At least as early as 2013, she is accused of ordering, or instructing her employees to place large orders, for equipment in amounts below the $10,000 threshold and then arranging its sales to businesses.

She is accused of spending the stolen money on personal expenses, including expensive cars, real estate and travel.

In a voluntary interview with the FBI in August, Petrone, 42, formerly of Naugatuck, said she had been defrauding her school through phony computer buys for “several years, possibly as many as ten years,” and that “approximately 90% of her computer-related purchases were fraudulent,” according to a law enforcement affidavit.

Credit: Instagram.

Petrone worked at the medical school or Yale New Haven Hospital in a variety of positions since 1999.

She was questioned by her employers in 2020 about a budget variance and a high volume of computer purchases and explained it by saying that her department was updating equipment in addition to working with Yale New Haven Health on a new program. Not long afterward, the school received an anonymous tip that she was “ordering suspiciously high volumes of computer equipment, some of which was placed into her personal vehicle,” according to government court filings.

The school’s investigation, provided to the FBI, showed that since 2018, Petrone drafted thousands of purchase orders below $10,000, and the value of the purchases requested by or for Petrone since fiscal year 2018 is “estimated to be in the tens of millions of dollars,” federal prosecutors said.

In one transaction described in court filings, federal prosecutors said Petrone-Codrington instructed an assistant to order 100 computer tablets worth about $115,000 last year after breaking the purchase into 13 smaller orders, each valued at less than $10,000. The tablets were shipped to a business with an address on Long Island, where delivery was accepted by an individual prosecutors said was convicted in New York in 2012 for enterprise corruption.

Bank transfer records show that the Long Island business transferred about $1.4 million to a since-dissolved business in which Petrone was principal, including about $71,000 associated with the sale of the computer tablets, according to court filing by federal prosecutors.

Petrone pleaded guilty to fraud and filing a false tax return. She filed false federal tax returns for the 2013 through 2016 tax years, in which she falsely claimed as business expenses the costs of the stolen equipment, and failed to file any federal tax returns for the 2017 through 2020 tax years. This caused a loss of $6,416,618 to the U.S. Treasury. She faces as much as 20 years in prison when sentenced.

Petrone also was ordered to turn over to the government $560,421.14 seized from a business bank account, a 2014 Mercedes-Benz G550, a 2017 Land Rover, a 2015 Cadillac Escalade Premium, a 2020 Mercedes Benz Model E450A, a 2016 Cadillac Escalade, and a 2018 Dodge Charger.

Petrone also has agreed to liquidate three Connecticut properties that she owns or co-owns to help satisfy an order that she repay Yale. A property she owns in Georgia is also subject to seizure.

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©2022 Hartford Courant. Visit at courant.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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