Former borough native receives 9 years for theft of Yale tech

0
5117

By Bruno Matarazzo Jr. Republican-American

NAUGATUCK — A federal judge Thursday sentenced a former Naugatuck woman to nine years in prison for stealing and reselling $40.5 million worth of computers and electronic hardware from Yale University’s School of Medicine where she worked.

Jamie Petrone, 43, most recently of Lithia Springs, Ga., was sentenced by Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in U.S. District Court in Hartford.

Petrone was remanded into custody following the sentencing proceeding. After prison, she’ll have three years of supervised release.

Bryant’s sentence was half of what federal prosecutor David E. Novick requested in a sentencing memorandum.

Jamie Petrone. Contributed

Petrone’s attorney, Frank J. Riccio II, requested his client receive no prison time with a lengthy period of supervised release. In his sentencing memorandum, Riccio noted Petrone has never been in legal trouble before and she has a young child with special needs.

In April, Petrone pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of filing a false tax return.

Her crimes were traced to 2013, five years after she was hired as director of finance and administration for the department of emergency medicine, where she authorized and initiated purchases of up to $10,000.

Petrone personally or by direction placed millions of dollars worth of purchase orders for electronic hardware from Yale’s vendors using Yale Med funds, according to the FBI, IRS and Yale University police. She then arranged to have the items shipped to an out-of-state business in exchange for money. As part of the scheme, Petrone lied about the items’ intended usage on internal forms and communications, and avoided any need for additional approval.

The out-of-state business resold the equipment to customers and paid Petrone by wiring funds to Maziv Entertainment, where Petrone was an officer, according to documents and testimony.

Petrone caused a total loss of $40,504,200 and used the proceeds for personal expenses, including luxury cars, real estate and travel.

She also failed to pay taxes on the money she received from selling the stolen equipment.

Petrone filed false federal tax returns for the 2013-16 tax years. She falsely claimed as business expenses the cost of the stolen equipment and failed to file any federal tax returns for 2017-20. This caused a loss of $6.4 million to the U.S. Treasury.

The judge ordered Petrone to make full restitution. She already forfeited $560,421 from Maziv’s 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.

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