Federal probation and parole in Maryland got a whole lot easier for some defendants from 2009 to 2010. Well, at least it was for the dozens of defendants who had been convicted of federal crimes, or recently released from federal custody and completed their mandatory drug testing requirements at the Maryland treatment centers of Clean and Sober or Drug and Alcohol Recovery. And it were the drug counselors and drug testers that were allegedly on the take of this large scale pay for pass scheme. According to indictment proceedings that were just released to the public, two former federal contractors from Rockville, Maryland were involved in a long standing bribery operation where drug testing results were falsified in exchange for monetary compensation. Both former drug testers had been under investigation for federal criminal charges including bribery, making false statements, and witness tampering, and both face considerable prison time. According to court documents, one drug tester pleaded guilty to bribery, and is awaiting sentencing while the other was recently indicted. The drug tester who did not plead guilty was arrested soon after the results of the grand jury investigation were released.
The male drug tester pleaded guilty to accepting over 100 bribes from clients that were under federal supervision and required to undergo drug testing and treatment. According to the indictment documents these clients would pay cash to the drug testers, typically $50 per test in exchange for receiving a negative drug test. Many times, the testers would not even bother to conduct an actual drug test, and simply mark off that the patient had passed. The indicted drug testers were also paid upwards of $400 for drug treatment discharge papers when in fact the patient had not successfully completed the treatment. The male drug tester allegedly took more than $10,000 over the course of the 2 year scheme and faces up to 15 years in prison at his sentencing hearing in December.
The female drug tester appears to be in much more legal trouble for a few reasons. One, the government's evidence tends to show that the female was the one who started the bribery scheme and introduced the male tester to other defendants that were willing to pay for a clean drug test. It also appears that the male drug tester is working with federal law enforcement and struck some sort of deal to aid in the prosecution of the female. The feds have recorded conversations between the two drug testers where the female tells the male to deny that he ever accepted any bribes. The female also states that she does not want to go to jail and tries to convince the male to lie to federal investigators. The feds used these recorded conversations in the indictment, and they appear to be the most damaging evidence for the charge of giving a false statement to a grand jury. The female was called to testify in front of the grand jury months ago, and made a statement that she was not aware that anyone in her drug testing company had accepted money from any clients in order to avoid a positive urine test. The female drug tester faces well over 20 years in prison for her involvement in the bribery scheme.
Benjamin Herbst is a Federal drug lawyer who also handles federal bribery charges and fraud charges in federal court. Contact the federal criminal lawyers at The Herbst Firm for a free consultation.
Former contractors for Maryland federal court system indicted in bribery scheme, washingtonpost.com.