CINCINNATI — A former Cincinnati police officer was sentenced Tuesday to five years federal probation for failing to claim $60,114 in cash income on her tax filings.
Quiana Campbell, an officer with the Cincinnati Police Department for 11 years, received the money for working off-duty details at Cincinnati nightclubs in 2015, 2016 and 2017, according to her plea agreement with the United States Attorney's Office.
According to the criminal complaint filed against Campbell in United States District Court, federal agents first became aware of her during a 2015 investigation into Cincinnati nightclubs’ potential involvement in organized drug trafficking and money laundering.
“During the course of this investigation, information was received that individuals associated with nightclubs had been or were currently being warned of police activities and were in essence being tipped off and possibly protected by members of the Cincinnati Police Department,” an IRS investigator wrote in the Feb. 14, 2020 complaint.
According to the complaint, investigators later uncovered text messages in which a nightclub owner texted Campbell to ask about a specific person who had visited the club.
“She’s an officer….” Campbell wrote back, according to the complaint.
The complaint alleged Campbell also discussed possible reasons police would be investigating the club, writing: “They work on random nights and go into different bars. If they come back again next weekend I would say yes.”
In an interview with federal investigators, Campbell denied sending the messages and said she would never out an undercover officer.
Campbell was indicted for lying to federal agents about the messages, but that charge was dismissed as part of her plea agreement.
"Quiana Campbell is a caring, hardworking, community-minded person," wrote Campbell's defense attorney, assistant federal public defender Karen Savir, in an April 3 sentencing memorandum addressed to U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett. "She showed poor judgment in failing to report her cash earnings from off-duty details on three tax returns, but her lapse in judgment in that regard should not overshadow her admirable personal characteristics or her history of public service."
As part of her agreement, Campbell must pay $23,742.64 -- the amount she saved in federal income taxes -- to the Internal Revenue Service.
Campbell has repaid $17,450 of that restitution, according to Savir's sentencing memorandum.