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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Syracuse, New York - Upstate Laboratories, Inc. was sentenced following its guilty plea to committing mail fraud related to the falsification of over 3,300 laboratory results from 2008 through 2010.

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK - United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian announced today that Upstate Laboratories, Inc., 6034 Corporate Drive, East Syracuse, New York was sentenced today by the Hon. Judge Glenn T. Suddaby following its guilty plea to committing mail fraud related to the falsification of over 3,300 laboratory results from 2008 through 2010. Judge Suddaby imposed a $150,000 fine and placed Upstate on Probation for 5 years. Upstate has gone out of business but the Court ordered it to prepare an environmental compliance plan and permit government inspections should it ever resume business operations.

As set forth in the plea agreement and charge, Upstate Laboratories had been a certified laboratory in the business of performing chemical analysis of water and soil samples supplied by public and private clients. Samples for which chemical degradation was an issue required Upstate Laboratories to perform analysis within specified time-frames (“holding times”) after the samples were obtained. Upstate Laboratories further promised to utilize required procedures to ensure that the samples did not degrade.

For samples that required a prompt turnaround time, Upstate Laboratories charged a fee greater than for samples that did not. For all samples, Upstate Laboratories represented to clients that analysis would be and was performed in accordance with required analysis standards. Upstate Laboratories submitted invoices for its analysis and was paid through use of the United States mail.

Notwithstanding representations of proper and timely sample analysis, from 2008 through 2010 Upstate Laboratories engaged in the routine “backdating” of samples results where employees changed the dates when the samples were analyzed to make it appear that analysis had occurred within the required time periods when in fact they had not. Upstate Laboratories thereafter prepared false and fraudulent analysis reports representing that samples were properly analyzed within required time frames and that the results were valid when they were not.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Inspector General and Criminal Investigation Divisions. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Craig Benedict. Questions may be directed to AUSA Benedict at 315-448-0726 or cell phone 315-391-1110.

Updated January 29, 2015