A former Yale University Medical School employee has been charged with fraud and money laundering for allegedly stealing $31 million worth of computer equipment over more than a decade, then reselling it.
Jamie Petrone-Codrington started working at Yale in 2008 for the Department of Emergency Medicine, and then taking up a position as the director of finance and administration. As the director, Petrone-Codrington had the authority to okay and make purchases below $10,000, according to Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
Even though acquisition was part of her job, reselling equipment was not. In 2013, Pedrone-Codrington “engaged in a scheme whereby she ordered, or caused others working for her, to order millions of dollars of computer 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,” the statement said.
While the Justice Department has stated that the charges did not constitute guilt, New Haven Biz reported that Petrone-Codrington estimated 90% of her purchases were fraudulent. She had submitted thousands of false purchase orders since 2018 alone, said the complaint obtained by New Haven Biz. Additionally, she is accused of breaking up the purchases so they’d fall below the $10,000 limit.
It has been found that items included more than 8,000 iPads and Surface Pro tablet computers. She ordered $2.1 million in computer equipment between May 27 and Aug. 19 this year, investigators said. They’re still evaluating the items’ purchase status. “It is further alleged that Petrone-Codrington 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 accusations went on. “The out-of-state business, which resold the computer hardware to customers, paid Petrone-Codrington by wiring funds into an account of a company in which she is a principal.”
The criminal complaint charges Petrone-Codrington with mail fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years; wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years; and money laundering, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years.
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