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Former Tiffany exec sentenced to 1 year in jail for jewelry theft

NEW YORK -- A former executive from Tiffany & Co. was sentenced to one year and one day in prison Monday for stealing more than US$1.2 million in jewelry from its famous Fifth Avenue location, a crime a judge called an inexplicable act of self-destruction by someone who didn't need the money.

Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun had pleaded guilty this year to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property. Her lawyer had asked for a sentence of six months while the government sought at least three years.

U.S. District Judge Paul G. Gardephe rejected prosecutors' arguments that the 46-year-old defendant was motivated by greed, noting that she came from a privileged background, made US$360,000 a year at Tiffany and lived in a US$4 million house in upscale Darien, Connecticut.

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