Ex-Tiffany executive gets 366 days for stealing jewels

Dec. 24, 2013 at 7:56 AM   |   0 comments

NEW YORK, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Former Tiffany's executive Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun was sentenced to 366 days in New York prison for stealing $2.1 million in jewelry.

Lederhaas-Okun, 47, of Darien, Conn., pleaded guilty in July to stealing about 165 jewels from the company's office and selling most of them to a reseller.

She was arrested July 2 and had been free on $250,000 bond, the New York Daily News reported Monday.

"To be clear, Ingrid did not need the money. ... Ingrid spent more money on others than she ever did on herself. The family was well-off and could have afforded the same lifestyle without her theft," defense lawyer Sabrina Shroff wrote in a pre-sentencing letter. "For reasons that can only be explained by a psychiatric illness, Ingrid took huge risks with her life and her freedom each time she stole. The risk did not pay off."

Lederhaas-Okun asked for a six month sentence, while prosecutors wanted 37 to 46 months, the New York Post reported.

Judge Paul Gardephe settled on the 366-day sentence, believing her claim she "wasn't motivated by greed."

"The 'why' of the crime is much more difficult to explain. It was inconceivable," the judge said.

"The amount of jewelry she stole over many years is staggering," he added. "Because the thefts took place over many years, there was plenty of time for her to reflect."

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