Tiffany VP Stole $1.3M in Jewelry: Cops

Items were checked out ... but never checked back in

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 2, 2013 3:48 PM CDT

(Newser) – It's not the kind of jewelry heist screenwriters dream about, but this alleged plot seems to have gotten the job done: A former executive at Tiffany's is accused of taking 165 pieces of jewelry, pretty much one piece at a time, and then reselling them to an international dealer for about $1.3 million, reports AP. Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun had access to the loot as part of her job as VP in charge of product development. An investigation found that she checked out from storage everything from diamond bracelets to precious stones to gold earrings, items that somehow never found their way back to the company.

Her excuses about things getting lost or damaged didn't stand up to scrutiny, especially when authorities found 75 hefty checks written by the unidentified dealer to her or her husband. (The New York Post says the dealer is a company in Midtown Manhattan.) The 46-year-old suspect, who lost her job at Tiffany's during downsizing in February, faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

This file photo shows Tiffany & Co. gift boxes.
This file photo shows Tiffany & Co. gift boxes.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
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