Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun pleads guilty and expresses her remorse.
A former Tiffany & Co. product development executive arrested for stealing fine jewellery samples from the company has been sentenced to one year and one day in jail.
Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun was arrested in the US in July 2013. It is understood that she stole 165 pieces of Tiffany jewellery, taking them off of company premises under the pretence of having them assessed to determine production costs.
Instead, over the three month period between November 2012 and February 2013, Lederhaas-Okun reported the jewellery missing or damaged. It is alleged the jewellery was in fact sold to an international buyer for cash, with Lederhaas-Okun falsely claiming that she owned the articles.
A judge in the case described the theft as an inexplicable act of self-destruction by someone who didn’t need the money.
She is said to have apologised for the thefts, stating: "I can’t express my remorse enough."
US District Judge Paul G. Gardephe rejected prosecutors’ arguments that the 46-year-old defendant was motivated by greed. It is understood she was from a privileged background, made $360,000 (£218,000) a year at Tiffany and lived in a $4 million (£2.42m) house in Connecticut.
Gardephe told the court that Lederhaas-Okun deserved more than six months in jail because of time scale of the thefts, and the fact she tried to resell some of the stolen jewellery.
The jewels were found to be missing when Lederhaas-Okun left the company in February 2013 after 22 years as part of a downsizing program.