A former employee of the Yale School of Medicine pleaded guilty to charges of fraud and other tax offenses after the Hartford federal court found that she stole $40 million in electronics and software over 10 years.
The court findings revealed that Jamie Petrone-Codrington used her previous role as the director of finance and administration for Yale’s Department of Emergency Medicine to carry out the theft, the prosecution found. With this job, Petrone had the power to make purchases of up to $10,000 for the department, according to NPR.
Starting in 2013, she ordered electronic equipment — including iPads and Microsoft Surface Pros — using money from Yale and arranged for it to be shipped to a business in New York. This business then redirected the money to her once the items were resold.
In total, Petrone’s actions resulted in losses of about $40,504,200 to Yale and a loss of $6,416,618 to the United States Treasury, according to the Yale Daily News.
The U.S. Department of Justice claims that Petrone likely avoided scrutiny by labeling the purchases as medical school needs for the university. She also broke up the purchases to avoid the $10,000 threshold, the Yale Daily News reported.
Court filings revealed that after department officials questioned Petrone in 2020, Yale 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 the Hartford Courant.
NPR reported that this tip led Yale auditors to comb through her purchase history and emails, evidence that was later turned in to law enforcement.
Petrone pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return, which both carry maximum sentences of 20 years and three years, respectively.
As part of her guilty plea, NBC News reported that Petrone must forfeit $560,421, several luxury cars — including a 2020 Mercedes Benz Model E450A and 2016 Cadillac Escalade — and liquidate her properties in Connecticut and Georgia.
U.S. District Judge Vanessa Bryant will sentence Petrone on June 29.