Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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Ex-Tiffany Exec Gets a Year for Jewelry Theft

(CN) - A former Tiffany & Co. executive was sentenced Monday to a year and a day in federal prison for stealing more than $2.1 million of jewelry.

Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, 46, pleaded guilty in July to stealing the jewelry from the store's Fifth Avenue location and reselling it for $1.3 million.

As the company's vice president of product development from January 2010 to February 2013, Lederhaas-Okun had the authority to check out pieces of jewelry for work, according to the criminal complaint filed against her in early July. She checked out about 165 pieces worth $2.1 million and then wrote off the goods as damaged or lost.

Prosecutors said she never returned the items and instead pocketed the money she received from reselling them to an international jewelry dealer.

"I can't express my remorse enough," Lederhaas-Okun told the federal judge Monday before sentencing, according to New York newspaper reports.

In addition to jail time, U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe ordered the former Tiffany executive to forfeit more than $2.1 million to the government and pay $2.2 million in restitution.

"This was not a crime of impulse," he said, rejecting her lawyer's bid for a six-month sentence. "The defendant made many bad decisions over many years."

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