REDDING, Calif. - A Redding woman who owned a drug testing company could get 20 years behind bars for forging drug test result paperwork.
The federal government has indicted 56-year-old Demitri Dearth with mail fraud and making false statements to a government agency.
Dearth owned and operated "Advanced Substance Abuse Programs."
Authorities said she took in the drug specimens but, instead of sending them out to labs to be tested, she forged the documents, signing them herself.
According to authorities, Dearth would report that the tests were negative and then she would pocket the cash.
Jason Lindell works for Boyd Trucking Company and he says he was a victim to Dearth's fraud. Lindell said it all started with a failed inspection, which at first he said he thought it was a mistake.
"We were going through a standard bid inspection which is our biannual terminal inspection from CHP and we were going through the drug portion and told us our random amounts had not come up to what they were supposed to be," said Lindell.
Lindell said he submitted drug test results paperwork for 25 employees. The CHP said 22 of those documents were suspicious.
Tammy Boone of Compliance Associates, Inc. said there were many red flags. Her company helps businesses stay in compliance with regulatory issues.
"The specimen id numbers looked like they had been typed in an old fashioned type writer, names were spelled incorrectly," said Tammy Boone, who is the president of Compliance Associates.
When Boone emailed the laboratories who were supposed to have done these drug tests, she got the answer she was afraid of the documents were fake.
"There was absolutely no record of these 22 tests at the lab [...] so we knew there were forgeries," said Boone.
Boone turned the case over to authorities.
Lindell had to re-test all his employees, which cost him $1,000. All of them passed.
Lindell said he is glad that it's over for him and for anyone else who relied on this company for tests.
"There's a lot of important decisions that were made on these test results and there's some companies that may have had employees slip through the cracks," said Lindell.
"What's really unfair about this is that nine times out of ten, as in Jason's situation, they have no idea that these test results have been forged," said Boone.
Authorities are not saying how many people Dearth may have failed to test, or if anyone wound up driving a vehicle that should not have been. They also are not saying how many companies she may have lied to.
If convicted, she could face up to 20 years in prison.