Yale’s CFO stole $40 million worth of computers to resell them • The Register

A former chief financial officer stole tablets and other equipment worth $40 million from Yale University’s medical school and resold them for a profit.

Jamie Petrone, 42, pleaded guilty on Monday to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing false tax returns, crimes related to the theft of thousands of electronic devices from his former employer. As director of finance and administration for the Department of Emergency Medicine, Petrone, of Lithia Springs, Georgia, was able to purchase products for her organization without approval if the total of each order was less than $10,000. .

She abused her position, for example, by repeatedly ordering Apple iPads and Microsoft Surface Pro tablets only to have them shipped to New York and into the hands of a company listed as ThinkingMac LLC. The money earned by this outfit from the resale of the redirected equipment was then transferred to Maziv Entertainment LLC, a now-defunct company traced back to Petrone and her husband, according to Connecticut prosecutors. [PDF].

Petrone began working at Yale University in 2008 and began ordering the expensive equipment for itself beginning in 2013. Thousands of equipment orders were written and management did not bat an eyelid for several years. She often explained that the equipment was used to overhaul department systems and support studies that didn’t actually exist.

An investigation into Petrone was launched in 2020 after university officials received an anonymous tip about its handling of large volumes of devices. An audit of Petrone’s records revealed that it had arranged to purchase around 8,000 Surface Pro iPads and tablets since January 2021 alone. Over the course of approximately three months that year, from May 27 to August 19, 2021, she ordered electronics for a total of nearly $2.1 million.

These were sent to an address in New York linked to ThinkingMac LLC, which was linked to a man named Allen Lam who had previous convictions for corporate bribery, prosecutors said.

Petrone also failed to pay taxes on the stolen tablets. From tax years 2013 to 2016, Petrone incorrectly reported the cost of devices as a business expense. From tax years 2017 to 2020, she did not file any tax returns. She technically owes at least $6.4 million in levies, it is said.

In addition to admitting the fraud in federal district court, Petrone agreed to confiscate $560,421.14 from the bank account registered with Maziv Entertainment LLC, according to the US Department of Justice.

She used her ill-gotten gains to buy expensive cars and homes, the feds said. As part of the deal, she will give up some of those assets, including a 2014 Mercedes-Benz G550, a 2017 Range Rover, a 2015 Cadillac Escalade Premium, a 2020 Mercedes-Benz E450A model, a 2016 Cadillac Escalade and a 2018 Dodge Charger, and will also liquidate three properties in Connecticut and a home in Georgia.

The total loss to the university would be around $40.5 million. She faces up to 20 years behind bars and is expected to be sentenced in June 2022. ®