A Rockville woman pleaded guilty in federal court last week to conspiring to falsify results of court-ordered drug tests in exchange for bribes and then lying about it to a federal grand jury.
Lauren Jeannette Diggs, 50, pleaded guilty Jan. 31 in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt to conspiracy to seek and accept a bribe and making false statements to the grand jury, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore.
Diggs, who was arrested Oct. 23, faces up to five years in prison. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 22 in front of Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow.
Her co-conspirator, Christopher Womack, 43, of Forestville, pleaded guilty to bribery on July 26 and was sentenced Monday to three years probation, including nine months of home confinement, according to a news release.
Diggs and Womack worked for ADR in Forestville. U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services hired the alcohol and drug treatment company to provide drug testing for individuals on pretrial release, parole or probation. As a senior counselor, Diggs oversaw urine tests for female clients. Womack was a urine technician.
Prosecutors said Diggs and others reaped $15,000 in monetary bribes over more than two years in exchange for performing or not performing court-ordered drug testing on samples from certain ADR clients and for providing fraudulent discharge certificates.
According to her guilty plea, starting in January 2010, Diggs persuaded Womack and others not to accurately test samples. She later introduced Womack to her bribe-paying clients and explained her bribe-pricing schedule, the release said.
After she was fired from ADR on December 30, 2010, Diggs continued to assist Womack in providing fraudulent certificates to ADR clients and continued to receive proceeds of bribe payments, the release said.
“Many of the federal defendants who paid bribes had significant criminal histories and had been in fact ingesting controlled substances while on supervised release,” the release said. “In total, Diggs and Womack accepted more than 100 individual bribe payments.”
Diggs and Womack were subpoenaed in June to appear before a grand jury investigating the alleged scheme.
According to the indictment, Diggs called Womack on June 11 and on July 5 and attempted to persuade him to provide false testimony.
During the June 11 call, according to the indictment, Diggs told Womack: “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.”
Prosecutors said Diggs lied when she told the grand jury on July 2 that she had not spoken to Womack since leaving ADR and that she had no knowledge of the bribery scheme or of an ADR client to whom prosecutors said she provided a fake discharge certificate.
“Lauren Jeannette Diggs took bribes to falsify drug tests of federal criminal defendants, then committed perjury before the grand jury investigating the allegations,” U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in the release. “Providing false information to courts and grand juries undermines the integrity of the criminal justice system.”