Federal authorities say a central New York laboratory has pleaded guilty to fraud for changed dates on more than 3,300 soil and water analysis reports from 2008 to 2010.
Upstate Laboratories Inc. of East Syracuse tested samples for clients, some requiring quick turnarounds where chemical degradation was at issue.
The U.S. Attorneys office says the lab routinely changed dates on results that weren't completed within specified times to make it appear that analysis had occurred within the required time periods.
The U.S. Attorneys office says that for some samples requiring a prompt turnaround time, Upstate Laboratories charged a higher fee than for samples that did not.
More than two-dozen affected clients included: Town of Camillus; Oswego County's Department of Health; Oswego County's Department of Solid Waste; Town of Oswego; A&P Water Testing of Morrisville; Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority; Madison County's Department of Solid Waste; and New York State Department of Transportation â?? Region 7.
Prosecutors say Upstate Laboratories has agreed to pay a $150,000 fine, which will be suspended if it pays restitution. The company will also be on probation for five years.
The U.S. Attorneys office says Upstate Laboratories has been a certified laboratory performing chemical analysis of water and soil samples for public and private clients.
Sentencing is scheduled Dec. 4.In response to Upstate Laboratoriesâ?? plea, the Director of Madison Countyâ??s Solid Waste Department issued the following statement: "Madison County became aware of a problem with Upstate Labs when the New York State Department of Health pulled the labâ??s ELAP certification in February of 2013. The County immediately terminated its contract with Upstate Labs and retained another certified laboratory to conduct its routine testing. While we cannot be certain that Upstateâ??s laboratory reports were accurate, we do note that the data collected in the past is consistent with the data we have received from the certified labs that we are currently using."
(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)