Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, a former VP of design & product development at Tiffany & Co., was sentence to a year and a day in prison for stealing $2.1 million in jewelry from her employer.
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Lederhaas-Okun, 47, of Darien, Conn., was sentenced Monday in Manhattan federal court by U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe. She previously pled guilty for the theft, which occurred over a four-month period, in July. In addition to the prison term, she was sentenced to one year of supervised release, ordered to forfeit more than $2.1 million pay and more than $2.2 million in restitution, according to the US Attorney’s Offiise for the Southern District of New York, which prosecuted the case.
Under her duties and responsibilities at Tiffany, Lederhaas-Okun had the authority to check out jewelry belonging to Tiffany for work-related reasons. Between November 2012 and February 2013, she admitted to checking out more than 165 pieces of jewelry with a retail value of more than $1.2 million, including diamond bracelets, platinum or gold diamond drop and hoop earrings, platinum diamond rings, and platinum and diamond pendants. She then sold some if not all of this jewelry for $1.3 million to another company in Manhattan, who the US Attorney’s office and the court haven’t named. It’s also unclear whether the company knew it was purchasing stolen jewelry.
To conceal her theft, she repeatedly made false statements to Tiffany, according to court documents. For example, after her termination in February 2013, she told company representatives that she had only recently checked out the missing jewelry in anticipation of creating a PowerPoint presentation. However, the missing jewelry had been checked out months earlier, her supervisor was unaware of any such presentation being worked on by her and there was no presentation on her computer. In addition, she claimed the stolen jewelry could be found in a white envelope in her office, but a search of her office shortly after her departure did not yield any such envelope.
“With today’s sentence, Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun has learned the price she must pay for stealing millions of dollars worth of fine jewelry from her employer – loss of her liberty and forfeiture of her ill-gotten gains,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.