Former Employee of Federal Court Contractor Indicted for Bribery, Witness Tampering, and Perjury in Federal Grand Jury
Defendant Allegedly Falsified Drug Tests of Federal Defendants in Return for Bribes
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 23, 2012|
GREENBELT, MD—A federal grand jury has indicted Lauren Jeannette Diggs, age 50, of Rockville, on charges of conspiracy to seek and accept a bribe, witness tampering, and making false statements to the grand jury. The indictment was returned on October 22 and unsealed today, upon the arrest of the defendant.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Chief Mark A. Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department.
“The indictment charges that Lauren Jeannette Diggs took bribes to falsify drug tests of federal criminal defendants, then committed perjury before the grand jury investigating the allegations,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Providing false information to courts and grand juries undermines the integrity of the criminal justice system.”
According to the indictment, from July 27, 2009 through December 30, 2010, Diggs was employed as a senior counselor by ADR, a company that provides alcohol and drug treatment services. ADR had offices in Forestville, Annapolis, Glen Burnie, and Waldorf, Maryland. As part of her official duties, Diggs was the primary alcohol and substance abuse counselor for ADR’s Forestville facility, where she also supervised urine tests on female clients. U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services in Maryland contracted with ADR to provide a variety of services, including testing the urine samples of individuals who were on pretrial release, supervised release, parole, or probation for the presence of controlled substances. When ADR clients completed their substance abuse and mental health treatment programs, ADR provided them with Discharge Summary Certificates. U.S. Probation relied on the urine test results and the Discharge Summary Certificates to inform the U.S. District Court or the Parole Commission and for their use in supervising individuals charged with or convicted of federal crimes.
The six-count indictment alleges that Diggs; co-conspirator Christopher Womack, who was employed at ADR as a urine technician; and others sought and accepted bribes to influence the performance of their official duties, including performing and not performing court-mandated drug testing and providing fictitious discharge certificates. After her employment with ADR ended in 2010, Diggs continued to work with Womack to provide fictitious certificates to ADR clients in exchange for money and received proceeds of bribe payments from Womack.
Specifically, the indictment alleges that in January 2010, Diggs asked Womack to ensure that certain ADR clients under supervision would not have their urine samples accurately tested and reported to U.S. Probation in exchange for money from ADR clients. Diggs introduced Womack to her bribe-paying clients and explained her bribe pricing schedule to Womack.
For example, in May 2011, Womack accepted cash from an ADR client in exchange for using his official position as a urine technician to ensure that the client did not provide an accurate urine sample and to conceal the lack of a test result from U.S. Probation. In January 2012, Womack agreed to sell a Discharge Summary Certificate to another ADR client in exchange for $400. According to the indictment, Womack then contacted Diggs, who provided a Discharge Summary Certificate to the client for $400.
During 2012, the grand jury in Greenbelt was investigating the bribery scheme, including whether Diggs was aware of any ADR employees receiving money in exchange for not requiring ADR clients to take court-mandated urine tests. In June 2012, subpoenas were issued requiring Diggs and Womack to appear before the grand jury and to provide sworn testimony.
The indictment alleges that on June 11, 2012, Womack called Diggs to discuss their anticipated testimony before the grand jury. During the conversation, Diggs attempted to persuade Womack to provide false testimony, saying:
“There ain’t nothing else to tell them m—f—....They have no f— proof....You don’t know s—. Deny. Deny. Deny....If you don’t remember no other f— word you remember that g—d— word. Deny....Cause that’s what the f— I’m gonna do.”
Diggs appeared before the grand jury on July 2, 2012. According to the indictment, Diggs made false statements to the grand jury when she said that she had not spoken to Christopher Womack since she left ADR; that she did not know anyone at ADR who had received money in exchange for not requiring ADR clients to take court-mandated urine tests; and that she did not know a particular ADR client, when, in fact, it was the client to whom she had provided a Discharge Summary Certificate.
Three days after her grand jury testimony, on July 3, 2012, Diggs allegedly again called Womack to persuade him to provide false testimony to the grand jury. Diggs said:
“Yo, that grand jury is nothing....It’s nothing. It’s easy. Deny. Deny everything. You haven’t seen me....Anything that’s asked, deny.”
The indictment also seeks forfeiture of $15,000, believed to be the proceeds of the crime.
Christopher Womack, age 43, of Forestville, Maryland, pleaded guilty to bribery on July 26, 2012, and his guilty plea was unsealed today. Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for December 10, 2012, at 2:00 p.m.
Diggs faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for the bribery conspiracy and each of three counts of making false statements to the grand jury; and 20 years in prison for each of two counts of witness tampering. Diggs is scheduled to have her initial appearance today at 4:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles B. Day in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Jonathan Lenzner and James A. Crowell, IV, who are prosecuting the case.
Mr. Rosenstein thanked District of Maryland Chief U.S. Probation Officer William Henry for bringing the allegations to the attention of federal law enforcement.