Go back to your seat, climate change; according to the FBI, there's a new force to blame for the rapid disappearance of Earth's ice: former Tiffany & Co. executive Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, who was arrested Tuesday morning at her home in Darien, Connecticut for allegedly stealing more than 165 pieces of Tiffany jewelry before leaving the company in February.
Among the items Lederhaas-Okun is said to have lifted: diamond bracelets, diamond drop earrings, diamond hoop earrings, diamond rings, diamond pendants, diamond diamonds, and diamonds, DIAMONDS, DIAMONDS!!!
Did the word "diamond" start to look like not-a-word by the time you reached the end of that line? (Di-almond?) Can you imagine stealing so many diamond-encrusted items that the word "diamond" moves beyond commonplace into gibberish?
Lederhaas-Okun previously served as vice president of product development for Tiffany & Co. ("MORE DIAMONDS ON THIS DIAMOND"), a position that enabled her to "check out" pieces in order to determine their production costs with potential manufacturers. The FBI claims that, after Lederhaas-Okun left, the company discovered that more than 165 of the items she checked out had never been returned. A complaint further alleges that Lederhaas-Okun purposely kept only items valued under $10,000 so that her scheme could continue undetected. (An inventory of checked out items is taken daily, but only for pieces valued at more than $25,000.)
Bank records reportedly reveal that, since January 2011, an unidentified Manhattan jewelry dealer has written 75 checks worth a total of $1.3M to Lederhaas-Okun or her husband. The FBI also recovered purchase forms signed by Lederhaas-Okun, on which she indicated that the items were her property.
In a particularly hilarious portion of its press release, the FBI claims that one of the ways Lederhaas-Okun attempted to conceal her theft was by telling everyone she'd left all that mysteriously missing jewelry in a white envelope in her office. Just a big white envelope full of jewels! In my office! Next to my coffee mug! Swing by and grab them whenever! I hate Mondays!
(A subsequent search of her office failed to turn up the Envelope o' Jewels.)
If convicted, Lederhaas-Okun faces a maximum of 30 years in prison for wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property.
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