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A former Yale University School of Medicine employee pleaded guilty to fraud and other tax crimes in relation to the theft of $40 million in computer and electronic hardware.
Jamie Petrone, 42, pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.
Through her job at Yale University, Petrone was allowed to make and authorize purchases for her department that were below $10,000. She began the scheme in 2013, and ordered or caused other people to order millions of dollars worth of electronics from university vendors, and used university funds to make those purchases, according to the Department of Justice.
Petrone was the director of finance and administration for the department of emergency medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine.
Petrone would then arrange to ship the electronics to a business that was out-of-state in exchange for money. The out-of-state company then wired the funds to Maziv Entertainment LLC., of which Petrone is a principal, according to the DOJ.
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Her scheme caused Yale University to lose $40,504,200, and Petrone used the money “for various personal expenses, including expensive cars, real estate and travel,” according to the DOJ.
She also agreed to forfeit the $560,421.14 that was seized from Maziv Entertainment LLC., in addition to some of her assets.
“Petrone has agreed to forfeit $560,421.14 that was seized from the Maziv Entertainment LLC bank account, a 2014 Mercedes-Benz G550, a 2017 Land Rover/Range Rover Sv Autobiography, a 2015 Cadillac Escalade Premium, a 2020 Mercedes Benz Model E450A, a 2016 Cadillac Escalade (4 Door Sport), and a 2018 Dodge Charger,” the DOJ press release states.
In addition to the automobiles, she will also “liquidate three Connecticut properties that she owns or co-owns to help satisfy her restitution obligation.”
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The DOJ also states that Petron failed to pay taxes on the money that she gained from the stolen electronics from tax years 2013 to 2016, and instead claimed the money as business expenses.
Petrone did not file any federal tax returns between tax years 2017 through 2020, according to the DOJ, which resulted in a loss of $6,416,618 to the U.S. Treasury
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She was arrested on September 3, 2021, but was released on a $1 million bond pending sentencing, which is scheduled to take place on June 29.
Petrone could face up to 20 years in prison for the wire fraud charge, and the charge of filing a false tax return carries a maximum three-year sentence.