Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Fake Urine to Circumvent Drug Tests

For some people, their business is stocks. For others, it's cars. Teaching, science, acting -- everyone has a different job.

For David Neal, it's urine. And not just any urine. Fake urine. Neal, of Middletown, Ohio, dabbles in selling fake pee to help people pass drug tests. Unfortunately, he meddled with the wrong people: the U.S. government.

Conspiracy and Fraud

Neal pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to defraud the federal government and introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, The Associated Press reports. Neal sold products that were designed to thwart pre-employment drug screenings performed by the federal government on candidates for employment at places like the FBI.

One of the websites that sold the additives, which is still live (for now), offers urine additives, detoxifying shampoos, and foot patches (among other things) that either confuse drug tests or break down the compounds that the tests are looking for.

The AP story mentions "fake urine," which Neal's company, ACS Herbal Tea Company, sold online as "synthetic urine."

Just Make Sure You're Using It Legally

Part of Neal's guilty plea includes conspiracy to defraud the government. Conspiracy occurs whenever two or more people agree to commit a crime and then engage in an "overt act" in furtherance of the crime. Conspiracy to commit a crime can be -- and is -- charged as a separate offense in addition to the offense itself.

The other crime, introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, carries a penalty of up to one year in prison and the possibility of a $1,000 fine. Together, Neal faces a potential of six years in prison and a $350,000 fine, according to an FBI press release. We won't know, however, until he's sentenced May 13.

Though Neal's website contains such disclaimers as, "This product is not intended for use on lawfully administered drug tests and is to be used in accordance with all federal and state laws," that's not going to be much help. The purpose of the products is to defeat drug tests, and no product like that can be used in accordance with any law. As with the "Facebook disclaimers," just because it's there doesn't mean it works.

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