CrimeDivas

Female White-Collar Crime Divas-Mordern Day Thieves

Professional or Professional Jewel Thief?$?

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     What a beautiful looking woman. You would never imagine that this former executive of Tiffany & Company for years stole jewelry totaling about $2.1 million. But, her case makes no sense when you learn that she came from a privileged background, was earning over $360,000 a year, and was living in a $4 million house. The ideal that her illegal acts were based on greed just doesn’t seem to fit, or does it?!?

Today’s CrimeDiva is, Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, 46, of Darien, Conn. Ms. Lederhass-Okun was convicted of one count of interstate transportation of stolen property and sentenced to a year and a day, which means she will be able to earn good time and get out in about nine months. She was also ordered to pay $2.1 million in restitution and to supervised release time.

What would make a beautiful and successful woman commit these crimes? You have heard the saying, “Everything that shine isn’t gold,” or something to that effect. But, to put it another way– what we see on the outside does not necessarily means it’s all good. I am not referring to the person, but the situation. According to Ms. Lederhass-Okun attorney, he claimed that she suffered from depression and cracked under the pressures of not being able to have children, getting passed over for a promotion at Tiffany and seeing her marriage crumble.  I guess this led her to impulsively take jewelry from her work. Hey, your mind can lead you to do some strange things when you are depressed and unhappy. The prosecutor denounced that this is a crime of impulse and stated that Ms. Lederhass-Ohun made many bad decisions over many years. Don’t we all!

According to the records, as ‘vice president’ of product development, Ms. Lederhaas-Okun had  the authority to check out jewelry from Tiffany to provide for potential manufacturers to determine production costs. When she left Tiffany the company discovered she had checked out 165 items that were never returned. The items included 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.

When Ms. Lederhaas-Okun was asked about the missing jewelry she claimed it was at Tiffany and that some had been lost or damaged, but an investigation discovered that she had resold some of the goods to an unidentified international dealer for more than $1.3 million and some items were found in her home (bad idea!). Authorities stated that, Ms. Lederhaas-Okun, purposely checked out items valued at under $10,000 apiece to avoid detection. The company does a daily inventory of all checked-out items worth more than $25,000.

Check picture Now is the perfect time to curl up and read two short stories; free if you are a Kindle Prime Member, or only .99. The first crime story, The Check, a true story of an illiterate, elderly woman whose husband suddenly dies and leaves her to take care of business as usual. But, taking care of business as usual will end her in a legal mess. Find out if the help of family and the close-knit community of friends will keep her from going to prison. Click on the book cover to read more.

If you have teenagers, or know a teenager, this true short story, Password, is a must read. Becky is an average high webPaswaorschool student who  has a passion for computer games and getting through firewalls.  Becky becomes irresponsible during her first year of college and finds herself deep in debt. She makes a very bad decision and taps into a bank’s computer system. Will she get caught?  Is the law  fall behind?  Will she bring shame and disgrace to her family? Will her life be ruined? Click on the book cover to learn more.

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Check-pointDecember 31st, 2016
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