Fashion

07.29.13

Former Tiffany & Co. Executive Pleads Guilty to Jewelry Theft

On Friday, the former Tiffany & Co. executive charged with stealing and reselling more than $2.1 million in jewels plead guilty to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property.

Former Vice President of Design and Product Development at Tiffany & Co. Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, who was arrested in July for allegedly stealing jewelry from the company and reselling it, pled guilty on Friday to stealing more than $2.1 million worth of jewelry, reports WWD.

Lederhaas-Okun has agreed on a plea bargain with authorities, which includes pleading guilty to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property (in which the former executive could face up to 46 months in prison), and an agreement to “forfeit $2.1 million” and “restore $2.2 million.”

"Ms. Lederhaas-Okun plead within three weeks of her arrest as she wanted to accept responsibility for her actions and is working towards making restitution," her attorney, Sabrina Shroff, told The Daily Beast.

The original complaint filed to federal officials alleged that Lederhaas-Okun failed to return 165 previously checked-out pieces — including numerous diamond bracelets, platinum or gold diamond drop and hoop earrings, platinum diamond rings, and platinum and diamond pendants — and resold the items to a Manhattan-based international jewelry reseller. (Manhattan U.S. attorney Preet Bharara “referenced more than 75 checks written by the reseller, which ranged in value from $7,525 to $47,400, and totaled $1.3 million.”)

 “Diamonds are forever but stolen diamonds are not,” Bharara said. "Today, [Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun] stands convicted for her thievery and faces the prospect of prison.”

Lederhaas-Okun’s sentencing is scheduled for December. [WWD

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a comment from Ms. Lederhaas-Okun's attorney Sabria Shroff.