Drug-test lab owner charged with falsifying driver results

Aug. 30, 2013

The owner of a California-based drug testing facility has been indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with 25 counts of mail fraud and making false statements to a government agency in conjunction with truck-driver drug testing programs, according to the Unites States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.

The indictment charges that, instead of sending specimens collected from drivers to laboratories and doctors for testing and review, Demetri Dearth —56, owner and operator of Advanced Substance Abuse Programs (ASAP) based in Redding, CA — created false and fraudulent documents purportedly signed by doctors indicating that the drug tests had come back negative. Dearth then billed her clients for the tests, according to U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner.

If convicted of mail fraud, Dearth faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The maximum statutory penalty for false statements to a government agency is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

“Department of Transportation regulations requiring that commercial drivers be tested for drugs are in place to keep our roads and highways safe,” Wagner stated. “We will prosecute those who put public safety at risk by disregarding these regulations for their own personal gain.”

“This indictment demonstrates USDOT’s commitment to ensuring both public safety and the integrity of the Department’s regulations requiring pre-employment and random drug testing,” said William Swallow, USDOT Office of Inspector General Regional Special Agent-In-Charge.

“Working with our law enforcement and prosecutorial colleagues, we will continue our efforts to prevent, detect, and prosecute attempts to circumvent USDOT regulations,” he added.

The charges resulted from an investigation by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee S. Bickley is prosecuting the case.

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