Former Tiffany VP Pleads Guilty in Jewel Theft Case

Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, the former Tiffany & Co. vice president accused of stealing more than $2 million worth of jewels from the famed retailer, brought her legal drama to a quick end by pleading guilty to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property.

Lederhaas-Okun, 46, faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, according to a release from the U.S. States Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York. She will be sentenced Dec. 10.

She also agreed to forfeit $2.1 million and make further restitution in the amount of $2.2 million.

Lederhaas-Okun, who was charged earlier this month, served as Tiffany’s vice president of product development from January 2011 until February 2013. During that time, authorities said, she checked out 165 pieces of jewelry with a retail value of $1.2 million, including numerous diamond bracelets, platinum or gold diamond drop and hoop earrings, platinum diamond rings, and platinum and diamond pendants. She then sold some—though not all—of this jewelry for $1.3 million to a Manhattan reseller.    

In addition to these pieces, Lederhaas-Okun also told the retailer that approximately $1.5 million in jewelry she had checked out would have to be written off. The U.S. Attorney’s Office also said that she made false statements to conceal the theft.

JCK covered tips and strategies for spotting and dealing with internal theft in 2008.

JCK News Director