Shasta County Woman Sentenced to 1 Year in Prison for Faking Redding-Area Drug Test Results
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Demetri Dearth, 61, of Cottonwood, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. to one year in prison and $2,500 in special assessments for forging and falsifying documents and then billing clients of her employment drug testing company for tests that never occurred, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, between about 2006 and about 2010, Dearth owned and operated Advanced Substance Abuse Programs in Redding, California. This company assisted employers in complying with United States and California regulations requiring pre-employment and random employee drug screenings. Dearth’s client roster included more than 80 companies in industries as varied as aviation, trucking, construction, logging, and education. They paid her to test prospective and current employees for drug use, to notify companies of these drug test results, and to maintain testing records in compliance with federal and state regulations.
Between March 2009 and February 2010, Dearth forged some of the drug test results that she reported to her client companies. In at least 46 instances, Dearth did not forward urine samples to approved testing laboratories. Instead, she faked documents certifying that the samples had been tested and obtained negative results. Doing so allowed her to bill client companies for testing that never occurred. It also prevented these companies from knowing whether their prospective and current employees were, in fact, drug-free when they performed potentially dangerous work, such as driving heavy trucks on public highways or providing services to the airline industry.
On October 20, 2017, Dearth pled guilty to 16 counts of making false statements to a government agency and nine counts of mail fraud. Dearth has been ordered to surrender to federal authorities on September 6, 2018. After completing her prison sentence, she will serve one year of probation.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Department of Transportation, Office of the Inspector General and the California Highway Patrol. Assistant United States Attorneys Amanda Beck, Michael D. Anderson, and Lee S. Bickley prosecuted the case.