Policies & Issues

Former Tiffany executive gets 1 year in theft case

Policies & IssuesDec 26, 2013

Former Tiffany executive gets 1 year in theft case

A former vice president of product development at Tiffany & Co. was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for stealing more than $2 million in jewelry from the New York-based retailer.

New York--A former vice president of product development at Tiffany & Co. was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for stealing more than $2 million in jewelry from the New York-based retailer.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York, Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun was sentenced Monday before U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe after pleading guilty in July to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property.

The maximum sentence for this charge is 10 years, but both sides worked out a plea deal in which they agreed that, in this case, the maximum would be four years.

In the end, the judge handed down a one-year sentence to the 47-year-old Darien, Conn. resident plus one year of supervised released and ordered her to pay $2.2 million in restitution and forfeit $2.1 million.

Lederhaas-Okun’s attorney did not respond to request for comment on the sentencing.

According to information released in the case, as vice president of product development at Tiffany, Lederhaas-Okun’s responsibilities included ensuring proposed designs could be manufactured. Because of this, she had the authority to check out jewelry to, for example, take it to manufacturers to determine the cost of production.

Between November 2012 and February 2013, when she was let go due to downsizing, she “abused her position” by checking out more than 165 pieces of jewelry worth more than $1.2 million, including diamond bracelets, platinum and diamond rings and diamond pendants.

She sold some, if not all, of this jewelry to an unnamed, Manhattan-based buyer and reseller of jewelry for $1.3 million. The company paid either her or her relative in transactions arranged either by Lederhaas-Okun or a friend working on her behalf.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said they do not have any comment on whether additional individuals will be charged in the case.

Lederhaas-Okun admitted to stealing more than $2 million in jewelry in this manner.

To cover up the theft, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said that she told Tiffany several different stories about what had happened to the missing jewelry, including that it was checked out to create a PowerPoint presentation for her supervisor, a presentation that didn’t exist, and that the jewelry could be found in a white envelope in her office.

Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

The Latest

GradingApr 19, 2021
Here’s What SSEF Found When It Studied High-Quality Afghan Emeralds

The Swiss lab reveals how stones from the Panjshir Valley are both different from and similar to emeralds from other places.

CrimeApr 19, 2021
JSA Issues Refresher on What To Do During a Robbery

The reminder follows a frightening incident at a store in California.

SurveysApr 19, 2021
New Nielsen Study Shows Consumer Optimism Toward Jewelry

The survey showed Americans are becoming more optimistic about their financial futures and view precious jewelry as an important category.

Brought to you by
A New Golden Age

Gold has had its share of ups and downs over the last 5 decades. Here’s why the metal is having another big comeback.

Lab-GrownApr 19, 2021
Lab-Grown Diamond Co. Green Rocks Hires Brand Manager

Ahna Shmuel returns to the company to head brand management as well as oversee the jewelry division.

Weekly QuizApr 16, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of April 12-16, 2021.
Take the Quiz
WatchesApr 19, 2021
Watchfinder & Co. Names New CEO

Former Rakuten executive Arjen van de Vall will take the reins at the pre-owned watch retailer.

AuctionsApr 16, 2021
Try On This Diamond and Pearl Tiara Before It Heads to Auction

Sotheby’s created an Instagram filter for the crown, estimated to sell for up to $1.5 million.

Brought to you by
4 Reasons You Need This Program for Mother’s Day

Learn how to increase customer loyalty and revenue by making JM™ Care Plan a cornerstone of your business plan.

SurveysApr 16, 2021
March Retail Sales Surge

Another round of stimulus checks helped to bolster last month’s retail sales.