Laboratories are used to analyze soil, water, and other media to determine their chemical composition, to assess whether such chemicals pose human health risks, and to determine whether such media are contaminated and in need of remedial treatment. In light of this role, maintenance of the integrity of laboratory sample tests, results, and reports is critical. A Lab Fraud Task Force and Lab Fraud Initiative were established to survey the problem of fraudulent laboratory testing and to determine how best to tackle it. ECS attorneys prosecuted several nationally significant cases associated with the Initiative.
ECS also prosecuted lab fraud prior to setting up the Task Force. In one case a lab and its owner pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of making false statements to EPA relating to the pesticide residue tests. The president of the lab was sentenced to serve 48 months incarceration and pay a $50,000 fine stemming from concealing and falsifying pesticide residue tests used by EPA to determine whether levels of pesticide residues in foods are safe and for the protection of public health. The lab was sentenced to pay a $15.4 million fine. The president and the company also each paid $3.7 million in restitution to defrauded pesticide manufacturers and EPA. The defendants falsified the results of their tests in order to save time and money that would have been necessary to repeat tests that did not meet calibration or quality control requirements. Numerous other co-defendants were sentenced to various fines and, for two co-defendants, terms of imprisonment.