Ex-Yale employee pleads guilty as courts uncover $40m fraudulent conspiracy

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Former Yale School of Medicine employee Jamie Petrone-Codrington pleaded guilty to fraud and other tax offenses. Credit: Kylie Cooper

A former Yale School of Medicine employee has pleaded guilty to fraud and other tax offenses after federal court in Hartford found she stole $40 million worth of electronics and software over 10 years.

Court findings revealed that Jamie Petrone-Codrington used her previous role as director of finance and administration for Yale’s Department of Emergency Medicine to carry out the robbery, the prosecution found. With this job, Petrone had the authority to make purchases of up to $10,000 for the department, according to NPR.

Starting in 2013, she ordered electronics — including iPads and Microsoft Surface Pros — using Yale money and arranged for it to be shipped to a company in New York. This company then redirected the money to him once the items were resold.

In total, the Petrone shares resulted in losses of about $40,504,200 for Yale and a loss of $6,416,618 for the U.S. Treasury, according to yale daily news.

The US Department of Justice says Petrone likely avoided scrutiny by characterizing the purchases as medical school needs for the university. She also broke off purchases to avoid the $10,000 threshold, Yale Daily News reported.

Court documents revealed that after department officials questioned Petrone in 2020, Yale received an anonymous tip that she was “ordering suspicious volumes of computer equipment, some of which was placed in her personal vehicle.” according to the Hartford Courant.

NPR reported that this trick led Yale auditors to comb through his purchase history and emails, evidence that was later turned over to law enforcement.

Petrone pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return, both of which carry maximum sentences of 20 years and three years, respectively.

As part of his guilty plea, NBC News reported that Petrone must give up $560,421, several luxury cars — including a 2020 Mercedes Benz Model E450A and a 2016 Cadillac Escalade — and liquidate its properties in Connecticut and Georgia.

U.S. District Judge Vanessa Bryant will sentence Petrone on June 29.

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