Drug testing company shut down for five years over fraudulent results

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 8/19/2015

The owner of a Tennessee-based drug testing company has been ordered by the Department of Transportation to cease all operations for five years. Court documents reveal that the company fraudulently submitted test results for more than six years.

According to a DOT Public Interest Exclusion (PIE) document, Elizabeth “Betsy” Pope, owner of Eastgate Laboratory Testing, was indicted on eight counts related to a drug testing scheme against a Pennsylvania trucking company. Pope forged the signature of a Medical Review Officer (MRO) that no longer worked for her.

From January 2006 through March 2012, Pope continued to use the signature of a MRO that had left the company in 2005. Eastgate conducted business with several trucking companies in the Pittsburgh, Pa., area, according to the Office of Inspector General. Pope was indicted last April and pleaded guilty three months later.

The PIE order prohibits employers from using the drug and alcohol testing services of Pope and Eastgate Laboratory Services for five years. The five-year exclusion was recommended by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to start on July 8, 2014, and end on July 8, 2019. The July 2014 start date was also the date that Pope pleaded guilty to charges stemming from fraudulent test results. However, the final court decision overruled FMCSA’s retroactive exclusion and set the PIE at Aug. 18, 2015, through Aug. 18, 2020.

As part of the PIE, Pope must inform all parties that were affected by the fraudulent test results. After Aug. 18, 2020, Pope and Eastgate Laboratory Testing will be removed from the PIE list.

The public can check out the official “List of Excluded Drug and Alcohol Service Agents” at transportation.gov/odapc/pie.

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