Medical Review Officer, or MRO forgery. Its hard to believe that a person could think they could get away with forging a doctors signature on a federal document. But here are two women that think its business as usual.
Elizabeth Pope dba Eastgate Laboratory Testing:
On December 10, 2014, the United States District Court of Western Pennsylvania sentenced Elizabeth Pope (dba Eastgate Laboratory Testing) to 4 years probation and to pay restitution ($109,000.00) to a Pennsylvania trucking company for her crimes.
Ms. Pope and her company, Eastgate Laboratory Testing, was operated as a Consortium/Third Party Administrator**. Starting in January 2006 and continuing through March 2012, Ms. Pope and her company forged the MRO’s signature and DOT drug tests. She sent the tests to the trucking company, who is responsible for keeping safe and substance free drivers on the road who believed they were receiving verified MRO drug test results. She committed these crimes against the trucking company and the motoring public for 6 years!
Read the full decision and order here.
Demetri (Mimi) Dearth dba ASAP (Advanced Substance Abuse Programs)
What is interesting is that we have the same type of case going on in California, with one exception. Dearth’s crimes were so heinous her case was turned over to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to ensure she receives the prosecution she deserves . ASAP,( Advanced Substance Abuse Programs) owned by Demetri (Mimi) Dearth, in Redding, CA has been indicted on similar charges…forging MRO signatures and forging federal drug test results.
Ms. Dearth is due in court early next year (2016). Read the press release from the Office of the Inspector General here. There were 80 trucking companies involved with her fraudulent business that have all been damaged by her greed, 80 companies that paid ASAP and Ms. Dearth and thought they were in compliance with federal regulations. Many of these companies didn’t even know about Dearth’s crimes until their Biannual Terminal Inspection by the California Highway Patrol.
How can you protect your business from this kind of fraud? Get references from other motor carriers or the Motor Carrier Division of your local Highway Patrol. Ask for the MRO’s name, address and phone number. Check the Specimen ID numbers from the labs with the records the MRO has on file. Ask about the labs, are they SAMSHA approved? Ask lots of questions! It’s your responsibility and your livelihood.
DOT – Department of Transportation
PIE – Public Interest Exclusion
NOPE – Notice of Proposed Exclusion
MRO – Medical Revue Officer (doctor)
SAMSHA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
.Consortium/TPA – Third Party Administrator
** A consortium/third-party administrator is defined as, “[a] service agent that provides or coordinates the provision of a variety of drug and alcohol testing services to employers. C/TPAs typically perform administrative tasks concerning the operation of the employers’ drug and alcohol testing programs. This term includes, but is not limited to, groups of employers who join together to administer, as a single entity, the DOT drug and alcohol testing programs of its members. C/TPAs are not ’employers’ for purposes of this part.” 49 CFR § 40.3