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Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun: Tiffany exec behind bars for $2.1 million jewelry theft

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Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, the former Tiffany & Co. executive who stole $2.1 million of company jewelry even though she didn’t need it, has landed behind bars. “Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, of Darien, Conn., stole at least 165 pieces of jewelry, worth about $2.1 million, between 2008 and her firing in February,” reported the Daily News on Dec. 23, 2013.

Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun was sentenced on Monday in a Manhattan Federal Court to one year and a day in prison for stealing from her Tiffany & Co. employer at its famous Fifth Avenue location. The executive's theft included at least 165 pieces of fine jewelry consisting of 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.

According to court documents, former Tiffany executive Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun admitted that she first stole a pendant from the company in 2005 and that over the next eight years, she stole more jewelry, sold them, and kept the money.

While prosecutors asked that Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun be sentenced to 37 months to 46 months in prison for being greedy, the former Tiffany executive’s defense lawyer argued that his client had no need for the extra money since she came from a privileged background, had an annual income of $360,000 working as an executive at Tiffany’s, and that she lived in a $4 million house in upscale Darien, Conn.

Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun’s motive for her crime (according to her defense attorney), was that she suffered from depression, cracked under the pressures of not being able to have children, getting passed over for a promotion at Tiffany and seeing her marriage crumble. “For reasons that can only be explained by a psychiatric illness, Ingrid took huge risks with her life and her freedom each time she stole. The risk did not pay off.”

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