Ohio man admits running websites to help people pass employment screenings
For the estimated 17.5 million people seeking to defeat employer-mandated drug tests, numerous websites offer advice and kits.
An Ohio businessman admitted Monday in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh to operating two of those sites.
David Neal, 61, of Middletown, Ohio, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the federal government and to introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce.
He faces up to six years in prison when U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti sentences him May 13.
Since at least November 2006, Neal has offered synthetic urine and various detox drinks, capsules and shampoos that are supposed to help people beat urine and hair drug tests, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Tonya Sulia Goodman.
Undercover buys of the products occurred in 2010 and 2012, court records show.
About 9 percent of people who work full time reported using illegal drugs in 2013, according to the Department of Health and Human Services’ National Survey on Drug Use and Health. About 12.5 percent of part-time workers reported drug use, and about 18.1 percent of unemployed people reported drug use.
About 57 percent of employers use drug screenings to fill all positions, while 10 percent use them only for safety-sensitive positions, according to a 2011 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management and the Drug and Alcohol Testing Industry Association.
Other than answering the judge’s questions, Neal didn’t comment during the hearing. During a discussion of whether Neal could remain free on bond, his attorney said Neal’s last contact with law enforcement was more than 20 years ago.
His client has come to realize that the products he was selling are “not as harmless as he thought,” attorney Paul Laufman said.
Laufman and Neal declined comment afterward.
Neal remains free on a $10,000 unsecured bond.
Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or [email protected].