07.02.13 9:33 PM ET
Former Tiffany & Co. Executive Arrested for Stealing $1.3 Million Worth of Jewelry
White-collar corruption returns—and this time, the suspect wears jewels. Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, 46, was arrested Tuesday morning in Darien, Connecticut, for allegedly stealing over $1.3 million worth of jewelry from an unnamed jewelry company that she had previously worked for.
Although the federal report does not name a specific company, Lederhaas-Okun’s LinkedIn page lists her as an employee of Tiffany & Co. since January 1991. The profile also indicates her role as vice president at the company until March 2013.
According to the official report, Lederhaas-Okun’s high-ranking position at the jewelry company provided her with the authority to check out items for manufacturing and production purposes. According to a complaint filed to federal officials, she allegedly failed to return 165 previously checked-out pieces—including numerous diamond bracelets, platinum or gold diamond drop and hoop earrings, and platinum diamond rings—and allegedly resold the items to a Manhattan-based international jewelry reseller.
“As alleged, Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun took advantage of the access her employment afforded her to expensive jewelry,” FBI assistant director in charge George Venizelos said. “She allegedly stole numerous items, sold them for over a million dollars, then engaged in a series of lies in an attempt to cover up the theft. A privileged position in a prestigious company does not insulate a thief from arrest and prosecution.”
Lederhaas-Okun is being charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of interstate transportation of stolen property, which is penalized with a 20- and 10-year prison stint, respectively. The investigation is ongoing. A representative for Tiffany & Co. told us, “In deference to the U.S. attorney’s investigation, we are not in a position to comment at this time.” Lederhaas-Okun’s lawyer, Sabrina Shroff, didn't respond to our request for comment.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with a comment from Tiffany & Co.