“Garth put his own greed above the health and safety of citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “This defendant seriously endangered the lives of children and adults in Atlanta when he faked their allergy test results and misled their doctors.”
“Such reckless conduct cannot be tolerated” said Derrick L. Jackson, special agent in charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General in Atlanta. “The blatant disregard for potential patient harm is inexcusable, especially when many of the patients affected were children and the elderly. Today’s plea demonstrates the OIG’s commitment to bringing to justice those who put profit before patient safety.”
The defendant, Garth, according to U.S. Attorney Yates, opened Polaris Allergy Labs Inc., an allergy laboratory, in East Point in 2011. Doctors would send their patients’ blood samples to the lab to be tested for food and environmental allergies.
Beginning in about September 2012 and continuing through February 2014, Garth directed his allergy laboratory technician not to actually test some of the blood samples for allergens in order to save money by not using the allergen reagents necessary for testing. Instead of testing the blood, Garth would create fake allergy test result reports for the patients and send them to their doctors.
Garth sometimes created results showing no allergic reaction, while other times he created results showing an allergic reaction, in order to avoid raising the suspicions of the doctors to whom he sent the fake reports. The doctors were unaware Garth was sending them fake results for their patients. After creating a fake report, Garth also submitted a bill to the patient’s health care benefit program, even though no service had in fact been provided.
Sentencing for Garth has not been scheduled.
The case is being investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services and Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary L. Webb is prosecuting the case.