Operator of drug testing company indicted on eight counts of mail fraud

By Clarissa Hawes, Land Line staff writer | Friday, April 18, 2014

The operator of a third-party drug testing company has been indicted on eight charges of mail fraud, according to an indictment filed in federal court on April 1.

Elizabeth “Betsy” Pope, operator of Eastgate Laboratory Testing, served as a third-party administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s drug and alcohol testing program for commercial drivers. According to court documents, Eastgate was headquartered at different times in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Loudon, Tenn.

Between January 2006 and March 2012, court documents allege that Pope used the signature of a former medical review officer, referred to in court records as “Dr. W.,” who once worked for Eastgate, but left the company in 2005.

InTransit LLC, a Pennsylvania-based company that provides administrative support to several trucking companies, used Eastgate for its DOT drug-testing program. In the indictment, InTransit alleges that Pope defrauded InTransit’s customers because the company did not have a legitimate medical review officer on staff reviewing test results as Pope claimed.

Pope “engaged in a scheme to defraud InTransit by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representation and promises, well-knowing at the time that the pretenses, representations and promises were false and fraudulent when made,” the indictment states.

“FMCSA and commercial operators relied on the suspect drug test reports to demonstrate compliance with federal regulations,” the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Transportation wrote in a statement about the investigation.

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