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January 31, 2013
FORMER EMPLOYEE OF FEDERAL COURT CONTRACTOR PLEADS GUILTY TO BRIBERY CONSPIRACY AND PERJURY
Falsified Drug Tests of Federal Defendants in Return for Bribes and Then Lied to a Grand Jury Investigating the Accusations
Greenbelt, Maryland - Lauren Jeannette Diggs, age 50, of Rockville, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to seek and accept a bribe and making false statements to the grand jury.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
“Lauren Jeannette Diggs took bribes to falsify drug tests of federal criminal defendants, then committed perjury before the grand jury investigating the allegations,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Providing false information to courts and grand juries undermines the integrity of the criminal justice system.”
From July 27, 2009 through December 30, 2010, Diggs was the primary alcohol and substance abuse counselor for ADR, a company that provides alcohol and drug treatment services, at ADR’s Forestville facility, where she also supervised urine tests on female clients. U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services in Maryland contracted with ADR to test the urine samples of individuals who were on pretrial release, supervised release, parole or probation for the presence of controlled substances. When ADR clients completed their substance abuse and mental health treatment programs, ADR provided them with discharge summary certificates. U.S. Probation relied on the urine test results and certificates prepared by ADR to supervise individuals charged with or convicted of federal crimes, and to prepare reports to the U.S. District Court or the Parole Commission, who in turn relied on the reports to make release and sentencing decisions.
According to her guilty plea, starting in January 2010, Diggs asked co-conspirator Christopher Womack, who was employed at ADR as a urine technician, and others to ensure that certain ADR clients would not have their urine samples accurately tested and reported to U.S. Probation in exchange for money from ADR clients. Diggs introduced Womack to her bribe-paying clients and explained her bribe pricing schedule to Womack. After she was fired from ADR on December 30, 2010, Diggs continued to assist Womack in providing fictitious certificates to ADR clients in exchange for money, and received proceeds of bribe payments from Womack.
Many of the federal defendants who paid bribes had significant criminal histories and had been in fact ingesting controlled substances while on supervised release. In total, Diggs and Womack accepted more than 100 individual bribe payments.
During 2012, the Grand Jury in Greenbelt was investigating the bribery scheme, including Diggs’ participation. Subpoenas were issued in June 2012 requiring Diggs and Womack to appear and provide sworn testimony before the Grand Jury. On June 11, Womack called Diggs to discuss their anticipated testimony. Diggs attempted to persuade Womack to provide false testimony, saying:
“There ain’t nothing else to tell them m—f—!... They have no f— proof.… You don’t know s—. Deny! Deny! Deny!... If you don’t remember no other f— word you remember that g—d— word. Deny!... Cause that’s what the f— I’m gonna do.”
Diggs appeared before the Grand Jury on July 2, 2012 and made false statements, claiming that she did not know anyone at ADR who had received money in exchange for not requiring ADR clients to take court-mandated urine tests, or in exchange for providing discharge certificates. Diggs also denied that she had spoken to Womack since her discharge from ADR.
Three days later, in a telephone conversation on July 5, Diggs again attempted to persuade Womack to provide false testimony to the Grand Jury. Diggs said:
“Yo, that grand jury is nothing…. It’s nothing. It’s easy. Deny. Deny everything. You haven’t seen me…. Anything that’s asked, deny.”
Diggs faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for the bribery conspiracy and for falsely testifying before the Grand Jury. Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow scheduled sentencing for April 22, 2013.
Christopher Womack, age 43, of Forestville, Maryland, pleaded guilty to bribery on July 26, 2012. Chief Judge Chasanow has scheduled his sentencing for February 4, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan Lenzner and James A. Crowell IV, who are prosecuting the case.
Mr. Rosenstein thanked District of Maryland Chief U.S. Probation Officer William Henry for bringing the allegations to the attention of federal law enforcement.