Prosecutors: Ex-Yale Worker Swiped $40M in Electronics

Jamie Petrone pleaded guilty to wire fraud, which could land her in jail for up to 20 years
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2022 8:00 AM CDT
Prosecutors: Ex-Yale Worker Swiped $40M in Electronics
New Haven skyline showing Yale University.   (Getty Images/Alexander Farnsworth)

For nearly a decade, Jamie Petrone had the ability, in her role as an administrator for the Yale School of Medicine, to place orders for computers and other electronics for the school's Department of Emergency Medicine. Prosecutors say that routine administrative task turned into a yearslong scheme that brought $40 million into Petrone's pockets after she stole and sold those wares. Now, as NPR puts it, that scheme "is officially over." On Monday, Petrone (who also goes by Jamie Petrone-Codrington), 42, pleaded guilty in a Connecticut federal court to one count of filing a false tax return in the case, as well as one count of wire fraud, which has her facing up to two decades behind bars, per a release from the US Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut.

Prosecutors suspect that Petrone's plan—which involved her OKing and making electronics purchases for her department, then redirecting those items from Yale vendors to an out-of-state business, which in turn wired her the money once it sold the items—started at least as early as 2013 and stretched into last year. NPR cites court records that indicate the electronics included not only computers, but such items as Microsoft Surface Pro tablets and iPads. Petrone made sure to make each order under $10,000, the amount she was authorized to approve, so as not to trigger the need for an additional OK from higher-ups, per the release. Prosecutors say in 2021 alone, she bought upward of 8,000 tablets, per MarketWatch. Petrone is estimated to have stolen $40,504,200, which she's accused of using to buy luxury vehicles, fund trips, and snatch up real estate.

She was also said to have swindled the US Treasury out of $6.4 million by not paying taxes on her illicit windfall. "Yale initially alerted authorities to evidence of suspected criminal behavior last year and fully cooperated throughout the investigation," a university spokesperson tells the independent Yale Daily News student newspaper, adding that, since catching on to what went down, the university "has worked to identify and correct gaps in its internal financial controls." Petrone was released on a $1 million bond after being arrested by criminal complaint in September. The wire fraud charge could bring her a maximum term of 20 years behind bars, while the tax charge carries a maximum term of three years. She's set to be sentenced at the end of June. (More Yale University stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.