Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, former vice president of product development at Tiffany & Co., Monday was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for stealing and reselling more than $2.1 million in jewelry from the retailer.
This story first appeared in the December 26, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Lederhaas-Okun was terminated by Tiffany in February and arrested by federal agents at her Darien, Conn., home in July for “checking out” jewelry from her employer and selling much of it to a Manhattan-based jewelry reseller for about $1.3 million. She pled guilty on July 26 to a single count of interstate transportation of stolen property in a plea bargain arrangement. As part of the deal, she agreed to forfeit $2.1 million and restore an additional $2.2 million.
She faced up to 46 months in prison for the offense.
The sentence was handed down by Judge Paul Gardephe in Manhattan federal court. Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, prosecuted the case.
Lederhaas-Okun took more than 165 pieces of jewelry from Tiffany during her employment. The haul included numerous diamond bracelets, platinum or gold diamond drop and hoop earrings, platinum diamond rings and platinum and diamond pendants. Checks totaling $1.3 million, and ranging in value from $7,525 to $47,400, were issued to her, her husband and a friend working on her behalf.
Tiffany discovered in November 2012 that about $1.5 million worth of jewelry checked out by the executive hadn’t been returned following an internal inventory review. She claimed the jewelry would have to be written off, but never returned it to the store. She also claimed that the items had been taken to help her create a PowerPoint presentation for her supervisor, but the presentation was never found, according to court papers.