by Christopher Freeburn | July 3, 2013 11:18 am
Call it the blue box scandal. A former vice president at luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. (TIF) has been charged with stealing from the company and is now facing up to 20 years in jail if convicted.
On Tuesday, police arrested Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, who oversaw product development at Tiffany until she departed the retailer in February. After she left, the company realized that 164 pieces of jewelry were missing, CBS News notes.
Though Lederhaas-Okun claimed that the missing items, which she was authorized to take to potential manufacturing partners, had been lost. However, it was later learned that she sold the items to an international jewelry dealer. Lederhaas-Okun received $1.3 million from the illicit sales.
Among the items allegedly stolen by Lederhaas-Okum were “numerous diamond bracelets in 18-carat gold; diamond drop and hoop earrings in platinum or 18-carat gold; diamond rings in platinum; rings with precious stones in 18-carat gold; and platinum and diamond pendants.”
Investigators noted that Tiffany conducts a daily inventory check for all items valued at more than $25,000. In order to avoid anyone noticing the missing items, Lederhaas-Okun checked out jewelry worth less than $10,000.
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