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Ex-Tiffany exec accused of hawking stolen gems

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 2, 2013, 6:33 p.m.

NEW YORK — A former executive with Tiffany & Co. stole diamond and other jewelry from the company's Manhattan headquarters and resold it for more than $1.3 million, authorities said on Tuesday.

Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun was arrested at her home in Connecticut on charges of wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property. She was later released on $250,000 bond in federal court in Manhattan.

As vice president of product development, the 45-year-old Lederhaas-Okun had authority to “check out” jewelry from Tiffany to provide to potential manufacturers so they could calculate production costs. Authorities allege that whenshe left Tiffany in February, the company discovered she had checked out 164 items that were never returned.

According to a criminal complaint, the missing jewelry included “numerous diamond bracelets in 18-(karat) gold; diamond drop and hoop earrings in platinum or 18-(karat) gold; diamond rings in platinum; rings with precious stones in 18-(karat) gold; and platinum and diamond pendants.”

Lederhaas-Okun claimed she had left some of the jewelry at Tiffany and that some had been lost or damaged, the complaint said. But an investigation found that Lederhaas-Okun resold the goods to an unidentified international dealer for more than $1.3 million, the complaint said.

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