The owner, operator, and manager of Jackson, Mississippi-based environmental laboratory, Mississippi Environmental Analytical Laboratories Inc., was sentenced to 40 months in prison. The owner, Tennie White, received the sentenced after a federal court found her guilty of “faking laboratory testing results and lying to federal investigators,” according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.
Along with her 40-month sentence, White also was sentenced to three years of supervised release to follow consecutively after her release from prison. The court ordered her to pay $1,000 in fines and a “$100 special assessment.”
This past May, White was found guilty on two false statement counts and one count of obstructing proceedings. The false reports are in relation to laboratory testing that White was hired to conduct for a manufacturer that was unnamed in the release. White was to test wastewater samples of the manufacturer’s industrial process and then use the results to “complete monthly discharge monitoring reports” to submit to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality.
The reports dated from October to December of 2008 were falsified and noted tests that never existed. In January of the following year, White presented a faked lab report to the manufacturer to use in another discharge monitoring report, and then lied to a federal investigator “during a subsequent criminal investigation.”
“Americans expect their public water supply to be clean and safe to use,” said Maureen O’Mara, Special Agent in Charge of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Mississippi criminal enforcement program.
“In order to safeguard public health it is absolutely essential that governments receive accurate test results and measurements. This case demonstrates that individuals who falsify environmental records and try to mislead the government will be prosecuted and held accountable,” O’Mara continued.