Woman Pleads Guilty, Admits Stealing and Selling $40 Million in Electronics

Published 2:17 pm Monday, March 28, 2022

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Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in New England, announced that JAMIE PETRONE, 42, of Lithia Springs, Georgia, formerly of Naugatuck, Connecticut, pleaded guilty today in Hartford federal court to fraud and tax offenses related to her theft of $40 million in computer and electronic hardware from the Yale University School of Medicine where she was employed.

According to court documents and statements made in court, beginning in approximately 2008, Petrone was employed by the Yale University School of Medicine (“Yale Med”), Department of Emergency Medicine, and most recently served as the Director of Finance and Administration for the Department of Emergency Medicine.  As part of her job responsibilities, Petrone had authority to make and authorize certain purchases for departmental needs as long as the purchase amount was below $10,000.  Beginning at least as early as 2013, Petrone engaged in a scheme whereby she ordered, or caused others working for her to order, millions of dollars of electronic hardware from Yale vendors using Yale Med funds and arranged to ship the stolen hardware to an out-of-state business in exchange for money.

As part of the scheme, Petrone falsely represented on Yale internal forms and in electronic communications that the hardware was for specified Yale Med needs, such as particular medical studies, and she broke up the fraudulent purchases into orders below the $10,000 threshold that would require additional approval.  The out-of-state business, which resold the electronic equipment to customers, paid Petrone by wiring funds into an account of a company in which she is a principal, Maziv Entertainment LLC.

In total, Petrone caused a loss of approximately $40,504,200 to Yale.  Petrone used the proceeds of the sales of the stolen equipment for various personal expenses, including expensive cars, real estate and travel.

Petrone also failed to pay taxes on the money she received from selling the stolen equipment.  She filed false federal tax returns for the 2013 through 2016 tax years, in which she falsely claimed as business expenses the costs of the stolen equipment, and failed to file any federal tax returns for the 2017 through 2020 tax years.  This caused a loss of $6,416,618 to the U.S. Treasury.

Petrone pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years, and one count of filing a false tax return, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of three years.  She is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on June 29, 2022.

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.  She also has agreed to liquidate three Connecticut properties that she owns or co-owns to help satisfy her restitution obligation.  A property she owns in Georgia is also subject to seizure and liquidation.

Petrone was arrested by criminal complaint on September 3, 2021.  She is released on a $1 million bond pending sentencing.

This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, with the assistance of the Yale Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David E. Novick.