Greed Driven Permanent Error

by Hal Mooz 23. December 2013 14:15

Ex-Tiffany exec gets year in prison for $2 million jewelry theft

A former Tiffany & Co executive will spend a year and a day in prison for stealing and re-selling more than $2.1 million of jewelry from the store's famed Fifth Avenue location in Manhattan. Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, 46, a former vice president of product development, delivered a tearful apology as she expressed to a federal judge her regret for the years-long theft from her longtime employer.

"I can't express my remorse enough," Lederhaas-Okun said.

U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe said before handing down the sentence that it was impossible to know what set Lederhaas-Okun on a path of "self-destruction which could only have one outcome — disaster." The judge said she deserved more than six months because of how long the thefts went on and the fact that she tried to resell some of the jewelry.

"This was not a crime of impulse," he said. "The defendant made many bad decisions over many years."

Gardephe also ordered Lederhaas-Okun to forfeit more than $2.11 million to the government and pay $2.24 million in restitution, an amount sought by Tiffany.

By her own lawyer's account, Lederhaas-Okun engaged in the first of many thefts in 2005, taking a pendant from Tiffany, where she worked since 1991. In the years that followed, Lederhaas-Okun would steal jewelry and sell it, pocketing the money for herself, prosecutors say. The government says the jewelry included bracelets, earrings and pendants made of diamonds, platinum and gold.

Prosecutors say she was able to engage in the theft undetected for so long because Lederhaas-Okun's position enabled her to take jewelry from the store and write it off inventory.



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Engineer, Project Manager, Entrepreneur, Author, Trainer, Lecturer, Thought Leader, Consultant

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