The proprietor of a California-based drug testing consortium has been charged with 25 counts of mail fraud and false statements, according to an indictment filed in federal court.
Demetri Dearth, who owned and operated Advanced Substance Abuse Programs in Redding, Calif., is charged with nine counts of mail fraud and 16 counts of false statements.
ASAP was an administrator for approximately 80 U.S. DOT-regulated trucking companies. The business purported to assist commercial drivers and their employers in complying with U.S. DOT regulations requiring pre-employment and random drug test of commercial drivers. Those regulations require commercial drivers be drug tested to advance public safety on highways and roads. The regulations allow for employers of commercial drivers to retain a consortium third-party administrator to coordinate the screenings.
Between March of 2009 and February of 2010 in the state and eastern district of California and elsewhere, Dearth “knowingly devised, participated in, and executed a material scheme to defraud employers of commercial drivers and to obtain money and property from said employers by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises and the concealment of material facts,” according to the indictment.
During that time frame, ASAP collected urine specimens from drivers, but instead of forwarding those samples on to certified laboratories, Dearth created false and fraudulent reports that claimed the specimens had been sent to laboratories. The bogus documents were then sent back to ASAP clients along with other false documents purporting that the tests had come back negative.
If convicted, the penalties range from up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the mail fraud charges, and up to 5 years imprisonment and fines of up to $250,000 on the false statements charges.
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