A former Tiffany & Co. executive who stole jewelry, including diamond rings and bracelets, worth $2.1 million over eight of her almost 25 years at the luxury retailer was sentenced Monday to a year and a day in prison by a federal judge who called her crime “inexplicable.”
The sentence was less than a third of the term sought by federal prosecutors for Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, 47, who was a vice president of product development and design.
“I can’t express my remorse enough,” Lederhaas-Okun, weeping, told U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in Manhattan.
Lederhaas-Okun pleaded guilty in July to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property, admitting that she stole at least 165 pieces of jewelry, including diamond rings, bracelets and diamond earrings, and sold them to a jewelry reseller.
Her job gave her authority to check out jewelry for work-related purposes. She was fired in February “as part of an overall downsizing” at the company, according to the criminal complaint filed against her.
After she was fired, Lederhaas-Okun gave false explanations for what had happened to the missing jewelry, including that she had left it in her office and that it was lost or damaged.
She later admitted that she first stole a pendant from Tiffany in 2005.
Over the next eight years, she stole jewelry items, sold them and kept the money.