Talk about a bling ring.
Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun was arrested yesterday morning for stealing $1.3 million worth of jewelry from Tiffany & Co.–and she didn’t even have to break in. (Then again, neither did last month’s “well dressed thief.” Is Tiffany’s just really easy to steal from?)
Lederhaas-Okun was the vice president of product development at the jeweler until being let go due to downsizing this past February. Little did Tiffany’s know, she’d been stealing and selling jewelry since November 2012.
According to Manhattan U.S. attorney Preet Bharara, Lederhaas-Okun stole 165 pieces total–including “numerous diamond bracelets, platinum or gold diamond drop and hoop earrings, platinum diamond rings and platinum and diamond pendants.” She allegedly sold them to a jewelry reseller in Manhattan for a total of $1.3 million.
According to Lederhaas-Okun’s defense, she had simply “checked out” the jewelry temporarily to use for a “powerpoint presentation” to show her boss, insisting the jewelry could be found in an envelope in her office. Neither the jewelry nor the presentation was found.
The FBI has led the investigation, which is ongoing. If convicted, Lederhaas-Okun faces up to 30 years in prison.
FBI Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos said in a statement,
As alleged, Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun took advantage of the access her employment afforded her to expensive jewelry. She allegedly stole numerous items, sold them for over a million dollars, then engaged in a series of lies in an attempt to cover up the theft. A privileged position in a prestigious company does not insulate a thief from arrest and prosecution.
Needless to say, things don’t look good for her. And Tiffany’s might want to invest in a little extra security.