Fashion Law: Tiffany & Co.’s Ex-Vice President Is Going To Prison For Stealing $2.1M In Jewelry
Last week, Tiffany & Co.’s ex-Vice President of product development, Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for stealing and reselling over $2.1 million in jewelry from the luxury company. She was also ordered to pay restitution of $2.2 million and forfeit her $2.1 million profit from the stolen goods.
In July, Lederhaas-Okun plead guilty to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property. She admitted to stealing over 165 pieces of jewelry, including diamond bracelets, earrings, rings and pendants. The stolen items were then sold to “a leading international buyer and reseller of jewelry with an office in midtown Manhattan.” The theft began as early as 2005 and continued through February 2013.
As Vice President of product development Lederhaas-Okun was permitted to check out jewelry pieces. In November 2012, Tiffany discovered that about $1.5 million worth in jewelry was missing that was attributed to Lederhaas-Okun not returning borrowed jewelry. Lederhaas-Okun claimed that she had taken the jewelry to help create a power point presentation for her supervisor. However, the presentation was never found.
After being fired in February 2013, Lederhaas-Okun gave excuses for why the jewelry was not returned. She claimed that the jewelry had to be “written off” because it was damaged and rendered unusable. She also claimed that the jewelry was in her desk, but the jewelry was not found there.
Lederhaas-Okun faced up to 46 months in prison for her offense, but only received 13 months. Should she have gotten a harsher sentence for abusing her executive privileges?
The case is U.S. v. Lederhaas-Okun, 13-cr-00560, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).