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Ippolito, a licensed pharmacist and owner of Northgate Pharmacy in Waldorf, and Shifflett, an employee at the pharmacy, were indicted by a Charles County Grand Jury in August. Ippolito distributed narcotics to an undercover officer and Shifflett was conducting street deals of pharmaceutical controlled substances that she obtained from the pharmacy.

Bada Boom Bada Bling: Another High-Ranking Administrator Steals Millions For Over a Decade from a University that should have Known Better.

Maybe when your endowment’s $31.2 billion you don’t give a rat’s ass when someone steals a measly – I dunno – thirty million; but Yale might at least have thought of the embarrassment when this hit the press.

Yale law professor Kate Stith, who previously worked as a federal prosecutor in Manhattan, said that she prosecuted many similar cases of money laundering and mail and wire fraud, though she could not recall one on such a large scale because of how long Petrone-Codrington’s scheme went undetected. “One naturally asks: Where were Yale’s accountants and compliance officers?”

I mean, she was at this for eight to ten years.

And yes, yes – UD has long pledged not to bother blogging about these stories, since they’re as common as domestic slaughter with AK-47s… but this one has an interesting wrinkle, something UD discovered in doing a quick background check on the irreproducibly named JAMIE PETRONE-CODRINGTON. Jane Smith I wouldn’t have bothered with; but a name like Jamie P-C will yield only the best results.

And there you are. She is or was married to a semi-famous boxer! If I’m not mistaken.

“The Don’s” loss to Allan Green earned Green the 2005 knockout of the year award.


She split the purchases into orders below $10,000 so they did not require additional approval by her supervisors.

So that means she must have filed – what – 17 billion orders? And the system was that no one at Yale University saw any records of her purchases? Come again?

So this is where the mind naturally goes to a conspiracy. Who else at Yale Med School knew about/covered up the crime?

But we wouldn’t want to raise taxes on this demographic.

Listing agent Dan Dockray of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty said [Tom Cruise’s $39.5 million Telluride Colorado] property was actually in contract within roughly the first week. “It all really depended on who had their Gulfstream warming up on the tarmac to get out there first,” said his colleague Eric Lavey, who also worked on the deal.

I’m not surprised. How can I be surprised? I read Laurie Garrett’s Immensely Long The Coming Plague in Hardback, Page by Page, in 1994, Right After it Came Out.

That book totally, successfully, got through to me.

What does surprise me – and will never stop surprising me – are the hoarding/gouging operations, like Baruch Feldheim’s. New York Hospitals Rationing Ventilators, Retrofitting Equipment, headline the local papers, as the morgues overflow; and here’s a son of New York who can watch the horror every day from his front window and jack up prices 700% on illegally held life-saving gear. Just wow.

Ya gotta admit:

It makes for GREAT viewing. And this is only the teaser!!!!

Background here.

While the grotesque John Hammergren…

… (details here) retires from his drug distribution days to the life of a highly respectable billionaire, ordinary dumbshit drug distributors in the state he helped destroy – West Virginia – go to jail. Let’s put the big drug capo next to the little drug capolinis, okay?

In a species of hypocrisy too grotesque even to laugh at, Hammergren, for years the CEO behind McKesson’s opioid carpet bombing of the US, currently heads up a task force on women’s health at the Center for Strategic and International Stupefacients (of which he is also a trustee; enjoy his written-by-someone-stoned-out-of-her-mind biography here). He ran one of America’s dirtiest businesses, and his personal greed is a national disgrace, but CSIS just loves them some Hammergren money and they don’t give a shit about those dead people cuz they wanna help people, see? You follow?

No other corporation distributed more opioids in those years than Hammergren’s McKesson … Over his first 16 years as CEO, notes Bloomberg, Hammergren pocketed $781 million. His final months in the McKesson chief executive suite brought that total near $800 million. Upon his retirement, he walked away with a pension package worth $138.6 million.” When the rewards for addicting much of the nation get this high, you do not go to jail, mes petites; you make high-level decisions about women’s health.

So here’s John with probably more personal real estate than even Jeffrey Epstein, telling those American women who happened to survive his carpet bombing how to stay in tiptop shape … and here’s a couple of West Virginians – Samuel R. Ballengee and Devonna Miller-West – who saw the amazing business potential of opioids just as clearly as Hammergren but lacked his resources and connections. What happened to them?

They’ve landed where Hammergren never will – on a federal indictment for drug distribution. They’re both the sort of jerks who will end up going to jail rather than advising UD on how to keep her cholesterol low through the liberal application of OxyContin. Ballengee, once a pharmacist, and indeed a McKesson distributor until CBS aired a report about his pharmacy and McKesson went and got cold feet, got so pissed at CBS for ruining his business that he sued them for fifteen million dollars! That must seem like a lot to Ballengee, though Hammergren makes that much every time he takes a dump.

Anyway, a judge totally dismissed the lawsuit totally immediately (“These broadcasts were not only tolerable—they were applaudable... The people of West Virginia, indeed those all over the country, deserve to know about the evolution of the opioid epidemic and the identities of the bad actors.”), and now Ballengee’s unemployed, owes lawyers money, is the object of a bunch of civil suits from I guess survivors of overdosed customers, and has been named in a federal indictment. Loser.

Miller-West is similarly pitiable. She shares Hammergren’s tireless drug-entrepreneurship energy – she owned (still owns?) not only a pharmacy, but also Alternative Healing and Coalfield Cannabis (admiring local news article here) – but she too finds herself on the federal indictment.

‘Epstein Paid $350,000 to Tamper With Witnesses, Prosecutors Say’

Sing it.


His friend Ghislaine

Is talking to the men.

His friend Ghislaine

Wants to avoid the pen.

And where’s that nasty pen?

Darkest Tenn.! Darkest Tenn.!

And if you are Ghislaine

What then? What then?

… In Hartford, Harrington, and Hampshire

Sex trafficking hardly ever happens…

His friend Ghislaine…

Acosta Resigns.

Good. Because it’s really hard to rhyme “Acosta.”


OTOH. UD thinks we’re moving to Caligula too fast. It’s possible Epstein will bring down the presidency or screw up re-election, but you’ve got to pace these things, and it’s only counterproductive to go to Caligula at this point.

Thus sprachs Michelle Goldberg’s headline in the NYT, but UD needs to insist that however “depraved” (Goldberg’s word, and I’m fine with it) this administration is, until it forces every woman on the White House staff to strip and prostitute herself with a stallion in the Oval Office, it’s not really in Caligula’s league. Rather, if you want to characterize what Trump has brought into the White House, go here, to a 2014 secret party of the one percenter boys; or (in its Early Years manifestation), recall the Duke lacrosse boys ordering strippers in for the evening. This isn’t the culture of Caligula; it’s about money crimes, woman abuse, and drinking. The only two obviously crazy people in this world are super-sanctimonious, totally blind VP Pence, and I Kept my Underpants On, Mommy! Alan Dershowitz. Neither seems capable of Caligulan behavior, but both are certainly as batty as the “little boot”; and while the unhinged Dershowitz is well on his way to permanent nervous breakdown, we do need to worry about Mad Mike assuming the throne.

Anyway, all UD is saying is cool your jets. All things come to those who wait.

Bail Conditions, Rockefeller University Trustee Emeritus Epstein

‘Jeffrey Epstein’s attorneys submitted a bail package proposal on Thursday in which he volunteered to go under house arrest at his Manhattan mansion—with a “trustee” who would live with him and make sure he doesn’t break any rules. [Finally a chance to get to know Ghislaine!] … [If] he’s released and put on home confinement, he would agree to wear a GPS tracking device on his ankle, install surveillance cameras, and ground his jet. [Stands for Girls Prepube Essent!]’

“[People tend to put the] word ‘earn’ in front of $100 million. I always say to people, ‘No one earns $100 million. You steal $100 million.'”

Fran Lebowitz came to mind as UD read David A. Graham on the long, lucrative, openly illicit careers of Manafort, Epstein, Michael Cohen, Elliott Broidy, Harvey Weinstein… He could have thrown in Steven A. Cohen, the most prominent among thousands of insider traders, etc., etc. The point is that the world is full of billionaire thieves – and worse – who either totally get away with it, or get away with it for a long time. It’s basic; it’s structural; it’s Welcome to Our World. As long as a slave class of Alex Acostas and Alan Dershowitzes (Dershowitz, who kept naughty Claus von Bulow in circulation, continues to insist on the innocence of his friend and client Jeffrey Epstein) exists, these men will be fine. (Graydon Carter: Come on down!)


Fine? Better than fine.

Consider 1989, the year that the junk-bond king Michael Milken was indicted for racketeering and securities fraud, and the year that five teenagers of color were indicted for the rape of a woman in Central Park. Ultimately, Milken served just two years; the so-called Central Park Five served five to 15 years apiece for a crime that, it turns out, none of them committed. But even that wide gap understates the disparate justice typically available in the system. Milken’s case was unusual because it was an instance of white-collar crime that actually got prosecuted. Meanwhile, a noisy chorus was demanding that prosecutors throw the book at the Central Park Five—including Donald Trump, who took out ads in all four leading New York papers calling for the boys’ execution.

And where is Milken today? His name emblazons a school of public health, one of whose components is the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness.

Remember: Update your files from ‘Purdue’ to ‘Mundipharma.’

The American courts are taking care of Purdue; time to direct our attention to Purdue’s overseas conspirator, Mundipharma. Cuz they might be having a spot of trouble addicting us here, what with all the lawsuits, but overseas they are coked to the gills.

As Marx might put it, the people of the globe have nothing to lose but their sobriety; and they have a world of druggy deaths to win.

Look at Italy, a country transitioning from two glasses of wine for dinner to two bottles of morphine for eternity. I’ve just linked to a long article, but it’s worth reading for the bubbly richness of that nation’s surrender to Mundipharma’s ambassador, Guido Fanelli, a man who wants everybody Oxyed unto death. Fanelli’s war plan is so familiar to those of us who have for years tracked academic pharmawhores in the US – the releasing of bogus scientific papers, the organizing of bogus scientific conferences, the gathering-in of kindred prossies from universities and laboratories.

As the U.S. market contracts, opioid consumption is climbing overseas. Canada and Australia are already following America’s catastrophic course, with rising rates of addiction and death. Others may be on the cusp of crisis: Researchers in Brazil report that prescription opioid sales have skyrocketed 465 percent in six years. Overdose deaths are going up in Sweden, Norway, Ireland and England, fueled by prescription painkillers and the illicit drug trade.

Fanelli, “a motormouth and a braggart,” made it reasonably easy for Italian police to discover and record his epic monologues about his Oxy-obtained yacht, so he and various Mundipharma executives are currently somewhat up shit’s creek.

But there’s so much more to come:

Keith Humphreys, a Stanford University professor, published a paper in 2017 pleading with the world to pay attention, especially as prescription rates rise in developing countries with minimal regulation. “As Oxy marches around the world, the things we see in Europe will be disturbing,” he said, “but less so than they will be in Botswana or India.”

A Harvard Money Manager Suggests an Honest Auction for Elite College Seats in Place of the Current Dishonest One.

Let’s bring a cold sharp Chicago School of Economics eye to the big ol’ worldwide elite college admissions scandal.

Ladies and gentlemen: To my left, a large cohort of global superrich so irresistibly attracted to Harvard, Stanford, Yale, and let’s say ten to fifteen other colleges, that they are willing to pay the schools – what? – up to ten million? – bidding starts at ten million? – to get their kids in.

To my right, elite American universities with unimaginably large endowments. As we speak, for instance, Harvard’s is close to forty billion.

Hundreds of billions of dollars that might go to actual need sit static in the titanic endowments of our elite schools. What is the schools’ interest in this new proposed auction?

Well, they want more. Twenty, thirty, forty billion dollars: not enough. They bombard their graduates with pleas to make big yearly gifts; they scream bloody murder if you propose upping their taxes a tad; they talk poor all the time.

(By the way – these schools are not simply victims of their own success, but also of the world’s failure. Keep in mind that most countries – even rich sexy developed ones like Italy – have almost uniformly shitty and corrupt universities. I assume you already know this, but as a reminder: If you open up places at truly great, storied schools for auction — as one of Harvard’s money managers has proposed — you’re going to get a flood of spectacular bids from almost every country in the world. Beats there a Colombian drug lord’s heart so weak as not to want Isabel at Yale?)

It’s already pretty hard to distinguish between Princeton and Gstaad; once the auction is up and running you’re going to create enclaves of such landmark ostentation that a tourism industry will grow around them, generating yet more millions for the schools. Instead of Don DeLillo’s South Bronx Surreal poverty-voyeurism bus tour, Princeton by Copter will waft you – in the superrich’s favorite mode of transportation – over the leafy bejeweled campus.

Mrs Zhao’s Deep Pockets Chinese Pizza


$6.5 million

Michael Wu

Rick Singer



Vincent Law, Esq.


John Hammergren’s a Folkloric Figure Here at University Diaries…

… (read all of these posts to refresh your memory) and he’s just beginning to claim his share of the attention he deserves from the larger world. But we need to be patient; he remains — despite having been rewarded with seven hundred million dollars in personal compensation over ten years for addicting much of the state of West Virginia — parenthetic.

For most businesses, $150 million [in fines] would be a lot of money. At McKesson, it was less than the $159 million retirement package the company granted its longtime chief executive, John H. Hammergren, in 2013. (After a public backlash — a Forbes headline asked if it was “The World’s Most Outrageous Pension Deal?” — the company later reduced the package to $114 million.)

PARENTHESIS $114 million? And why not mention that this, er, specimen sits on the board of the Center for Strategic and International Stupefacients, bringing his knowledge of drug distribution to global thinking at the highest levels? There’s a lot to say about John Hammergren. But people seem willing to wait until he gets arrested (think it can’t happen?) to say it. Here on University Diaries, we’re saying it now.

Some nice writing about the admissions scandal.

All this malfeasance has led to the creation of a 200-page affidavit, and a bevy of other court documents, that can best be described as a kind of posthumous Tom Wolfe novella, one with a wide cast of very rich people behaving in such despicable ways that it makes The Bonfire of the Vanities look like The Pilgrim’s Progress.

The whole article’s good, and the last few paragraphs are very explicitly Wolfe-ish, in style and content. Here’s one:

All she wanted was an even playing field for her rich, white daughter! All she wanted was a few hundred SAT points so the girl didn’t get lost in the madness that has made college admissions so stressful, so insane, so broken, so unfair. “We’re talking about Georgetown,” Macy informed Singer about their hopes for their younger daughter. Fortunately for them, and for the younger daughter—and possibly for Georgetown itself—they had not employed him to work on this goal before the indictments were handed down. Fortunately for Macy (who seems to have taken a modified Parent B position), only Huffman has been indicted in the scheme.

Should come as no surprise that many of us are thinking of Wolfe, “the sage of status anxiety.”

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