TODAY

TODAY   |  July 03, 2013

Former Tiffany exec allegedly steals over $1 million

Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun was arrested at her home in a Conn. suburb for allegedly stealing $1 million in jewelry from the iconic chain and reselling the valuables to another jewelry company in New York City. NBC’s Mara Schiavocampo reports.

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>> former executive at tiffany and company is facing serious charges this morning accused of stealing more than $1 million worth of jewelry from the iconic brand. mara has details on this.

>>> good morning. she was arrested at her home in a connecticut suburb on tuesday. not only did she allegedly take the valuables but then she resold them to another jewelry company and concocted a series of stories to cover for the loss. in her role as vice president of product development , she was allowed to check out jewelry for work related reasons. court papers do not name tiffany but refer to an international jewelry company. a law enforcement source and her linkedin page said she worked for tiffany. she lost her job in february as part of an overall company down sizing. an inventory review revealed that since november 2012 she checked out about 165 pieces of jewelry and failed to give them back. the criminal complaint said she abused her position and authority to check out jewelry with a retail value of over $1.2 million. this jewelry included, among other items, numerous diamond bracelets in 18-carat gold, diamond rings in platinum, rings with precious stones in 18-carat gold and platinum and diamond pendants. she then sold some if not all of this jewelry to another jewelry company in new york city and gave false explanations for what happened to the missing jewelry, such as claiming that it was lost or damaged. prosecutors say she was arrested at her home tuesday in the wealthy connecticut suburb of darien on charges of wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property. according to her linkedin profile she started working at tiffany as an assistant buyer in 1991 and rose through the ranks the following years. a tiffany spokesperson says in deference to the u.s. attorney 's investigation we're not in a position to comment at this time. now the complaint says agents reviewed records from a bank account and found that about 75 checks from the jewelry reseller had been deposited. the complaint does not identify the husband and he has not been charged in the case. the charges carry a maximum punishment of 30 years in prison.