An IRS employee has admitted to stealing money from the mail that had been sent to the facility where she worked.

Latrice Antionette Murray, 38, of Kansas City, Mo., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple on Tuesday afternoon to the charges contained in a Sept. 8, 2009, federal indictment (see IRS Employee Indicted for Stealing Mail). Murray was employed at an IRS facility in Kansas City, Mo., where her duties included mail processing. She admitted that she rifled through misdirected or misdelivered mail, and then stole cash and gift cards from it. Murray also admitted that she stole mail on each of five different dates between Feb. 9 and April 9, 2009.

As a batch of incoming mail is sorted for delivery to various individuals at the IRS facility, some mail is identified as misdirected or misdelivered, and is placed in a mail bucket so it can be returned to the U.S. Postal Service for delivery to the intended addressee. Based on reports that the misdelivered mail was being opened rather than being returned to the post office, a hidden video surveillance camera was installed in the administrative mail room. The video confirmed that Murray had rifled through the misdelivered mail, opened it, and removed its contents.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gene Porter and was investigated by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

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