(TIML NEWS) Former Yale University administrator Jamie Petrone has admitted stealing $40 million worth of computer equipment and other electronics from the school and selling them. Petrone has pleaded guilty to fraud and tax offenses.
Petrone, 42, of Georgia, used the university’s money to buy massive amounts of high-end electronics which she would sell. In the summer of 2021 alone, Petrone ordered 8,000 iPads and Surface Pro tablets and $2.1 million in other computer equipment. Petrone then used her illegal windfall for personal expenses such as travel, luxury cars, and real estate.
She had been an administrative employee of the Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine and was arrested in September, according to university officials.
She pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. Petrone will pay restitution to Yale and the IRS. She is scheduled to be sentenced in June.
Petrone faces up to 20 years in prison for mail fraud, another 20 years for wire fraud, and 10 more years for money laundering charges, Yale Daily News reported.
“Ms. Petrone has accepted responsibility for her actions and is remorseful. She now looks forward towards sentencing and repairing some of the damage that has been caused,” her attorney, Frank J. Riccio II, said in an email to The Washington Post.
Petrone began working for Yale in 2008 and most recently served as director of finance and administration for the Department of Emergency Medicine. In that role, she had the authority to make and authorize purchases up to $10,000 for the department, authorities said.
From 2013 to 2021, Petrone used Yale funds to purchase or approve purchases of millions of dollars worth of electronics and computer equipment such as Apple iPads and MacBooks, and cameras. She would then ship the electronics to an out-of-state business, which resold the equipment and wired money to Maziv Entertainment LLC, a company of which Petrone is a principal.
“Yale alerted federal law enforcement authorities to evidence of criminal behavior and has cooperated fully with their investigation,” university spokesperson Karen Peart wrote in an email to the Yale Daily News. “Yale is grateful for the swift action of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.”
Authorities seized more than $500,000 from Maziv Entertainment and will liquidate three properties Petrone owns or co-owns in Connecticut toward the restitution she must pay, authorities said. Petrone will also forfeit six vehicles, including Cadillacs, Mercedes-Benz, and a Land Rover/Range Rover.
Petrone did not pay taxes on the income, according to federal officials, filing false claims for the 2013-2016 tax years and no federal returns from 2017 to 2020 — costing the U.S. Treasury more than $6 million.