Former Tiffany VP admits million dollar theft

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Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun apologises and says she knew robbery was wrong.

The former Tiffany & Co. vice-president suspected of stealing more than a million pounds worth of jewellery has pleaded guilty to charges of theft in New York.

Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun pleaded guilty to stealing $2.1 million (£1.3 million) worth of Tiffany jewellery during her time working in product development at the company. She told a federal court in Manhattan that she had concealed the jewellery at her Connecticut home, stating: "I knew it was illegal to steal, and I did so regardless… I’m very sorry."

Lederhaas-Okun lifted a total of 165 pieces from Tiffany & Co. over a period of several months beginning last November. The items taken included hoop earrings, pendants, diamond-set pieces and gold rings which she checked out of the company, claiming they were being taken away to get quotes for production.

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Instead the items were stored at her home before being sold to a New York-based company that buys and resells jewellery.

According to WWD, Lederhaas-Okun faces 46 months in prison following a plea agreement. Her sentencing will take place on December 10. 

Manhattan US attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement last Friday: "Diamonds are forever but stolen diamonds are not. Over a period of years, Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, an executive at a high-end jewellery company, looted her employer’s jewellery inventory and then resold millions of dollars’ worth of the merchandise in order to enrich herself. Today, she stands convicted for her thievery and faces the prospect of prison."
 

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