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March 29, 2024

Internal Revenue Service Employee Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud

On February 29, 2024, at a re-arraignment and plea hearing in the Eastern District of Kentucky, Contessa M. Qualls pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

In October 2021, Qualls, an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee at an IRS facility in Covington, Kentucky, obtained controlled substances from the internet and other sources for the purpose of mailing them to an inmate of Toledo Correctional Institute (TCI) in Toledo, Ohio. On at least two occasions, Qualls used IRS mailings, sent from the IRS office in Covington, Kentucky, to mail documents soaked in a controlled substance known as “K2” or “spice,” to an inmate at TCI. Qualls mailed documents for the purpose of sale and distribution in TCI by the inmate. Through using the IRS mailings, Qualls intended to deceive TCI officials by conveying the false impression that the mailings contained official documents from a United States government agency, thus introducing the contraband into TCI without additional scrutiny or interception. The value for one sheet of the controlled substance averaged more than $2,000 in Ohio correctional facilities.

Source:  The facts in this case narrative come from the following publicly available documents: E.D. Ky. Re-arraignment and Plea Hearing filed Feb. 29, 2024; and E.D. Ky. Indict. filed Sept. 21, 2023.