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Tiffany Exec Pleads Guilty in Jewelry Theft

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Former Tiffany & Co vice president Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun pleaded guilty to charges that she stole $2.1 million worth of jewelry from the company over a period of years. Lederhaas-Okun "checked out" items from work and sold them to a Manhattan jewelry dealer, who acted as a fence. She attempted to cover her tracks by claiming the items had been lost or damaged, and would need to be written off. Lederhaas-Okun stole more than 165 pieces this way.

Her guilty plea means she will spend a maximum sentence of 46 months in prison. She will also pay $2.2 million in restitution to Tiffany & Co. Lederhaas-Okun had faced charges that carried a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

According to Women's Wear Daily:

Her haul included numerous 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 the jewelry, for $1.3 million to a "leading international buyer and reseller of jewelry with an office in midtown Manhattan," according to court papers.

Lederhaas-Okun apparently started stealing in 2011. It took Tiffany over a year before the scheme was uncovered, during an inventory. Among the excuses Lederhaas-Okun offered when it was discovered that the jewelry was missing? That she had checked out the pieces in order to prepare a PowerPoint presentation for a supervisor, and that she'd left the jewelry in an envelope in her office.

— Jenna Sauers

· Former Tiffany Executive Pleads Guilty in Theft Case [WWD]
· All Tiffany & Co News [Racked]