Feds: Tiffany exec stole jewelry worth $1.3M

Feds: Tiffany exec stole jewelry worth $1.3M

Posted: Updated:

By TOM HAYS | AP

NEW YORK (AP) -- A former executive with Tiffany & Co. stole diamonds and other jewelry from the company's Manhattan headquarters and resold it for more than $1.3 million, U.S. authorities said Tuesday.

Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun was arrested Tuesday at her home in Connecticut on charges of wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property. She was later released on $250,000 bond at a brief appearance in federal court in Manhattan.

As vice president of product development, the 45-year-old Lederhaas-Okun had authority to "check out" jewelry from Tiffany to provide to potential manufacturers so they could calculate production costs. Authorities allege that after she left Tiffany in February, the company discovered she had checked out 164 items that were never returned.

According to a criminal complaint, the missing jewelry included "numerous diamond bracelets in 18-carat gold; diamond drop and hoop earrings in platinum or 18-carat gold; diamond rings in platinum; rings with precious stones in 18-carat gold; and platinum and diamond pendants."

Lederhaas-Okun claimed she had left some of the jewelry at Tiffany and that some had been lost or damaged, the complaint said. But an investigation found that Lederhaas-Okun resold the goods to an unidentified international dealer for more than $1.3 million, it said.

Bank records showed that since January 2011, the dealer wrote 75 checks to her or her husband for amounts of up to $47,400, the complaint said. Investigators also recovered purchase forms signed by Lederhaas-Okun that said the items were her personal property.

Authorities allege Lederhaas-Okun purposely checked out items valued at under $10,000 apiece to avoid detection. The company takes a daily inventory of all checked-out items worth more than $25,000.

If convicted, Lederhaas-Okun faces up to 20 years in prison. She and her attorney left a courtroom on Tuesday without speaking to reporters.

Tiffany representatives declined to comment Tuesday.

  • Manhattan NewsManhattan NewsMore>>

  • Brand names in NY standardized tests vex parents

    Brand names in NY standardized tests vex parents

    Monday, April 21 2014 6:43 AM EDT2014-04-21 10:43:41 GMT
    "Just Do It" has been a familiar Nike slogan for years, but now parents are wondering what it was doing on some of New York's Common Core standardized English tests.
    "Just Do It" has been a familiar Nike slogan for years, but now parents are wondering what it was doing on some of New York's Common Core standardized English tests.
  • Prenuptial digital privacy clauses gain popularity

    Prenuptial digital privacy clauses gain popularity

    Monday, April 21 2014 6:08 AM EDT2014-04-21 10:08:56 GMT
    Realty TV star Kim Kardashian probably wished she did have one before she walked down the aisle with Kris Humphries. We might never have known about Tiger Woods' cheating ways if he had one. And figure skater Johnny Weir is insisting on one as part of his post-nuptial agreement. What is it? A digital privacy clause.
    Realty TV star Kim Kardashian probably wished she did have one before she walked down the aisle with Kris Humphries. We might never have known about Tiger Woods' cheating ways if he had one. And figure skater Johnny Weir is insisting on one as part of his post-nuptial agreement. What is it? A digital privacy clause.
  • Governor kicks off 114th annual New York International Auto Show

    Governor kicks off 114th annual New York International Auto Show

    Sunday, April 20 2014 3:27 PM EDT2014-04-20 19:27:34 GMT
    Auto fans you may already know this.... The 114th New York International Automobile Show is in town this week. Governor Cuomo was on hand Saturday to kick off the official opening of the 10 day event by driving a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette convertible through the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
    Auto fans you may already know this.... The 114th New York International Automobile Show is in town this week. Governor Cuomo was on hand Saturday to kick off the official opening of the 10 day event by driving a 2015 Chevrolet Corvette convertible through the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices