Originally published November 24 2012
San Diego-based urine drug testing company accused of fraud, mafia-style tactics of intimidation
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) In just 20 years' time, the number of prescriptions written for pharmaceutical drugs in the U.S. has skyrocketed more than six-fold, which has consequently driven up demand for urine drug testing services by doctors trying to monitor their patients' drug intake habits. But with this boom in the urine drug testing industry has come a wave of fraud and corruption allegations, including a recent case involving San Diego, California-based Millennium Laboratories, which is said to be one of the largest urine drug testing companies in the country.
According to Reuters, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is currently investigating Millennium after several of its former employees came forward with claims about serious criminal misconduct, mafia-style intimidation tactics, and cult-like behavior taking place at the company. Though no official criminal charges have yet been filed against the company, former Millennium employees claim they were not only targeted for speaking out against the questionable sales practices of the company, but also threatened with retaliation if they dared go public with the information or even just work for a competitor.
"I took it as a complete warning and threat to not only not go to the competition, but don't even question Millennium once you were no longer under their protection," said Jodie Strain, a former Millennium employee who recently testified before a grand jury about her experience at the company. "It sent a very clear message not to mess with Millennium Labs," she added.
Strain was referring, of course, to a company meeting in which Millennium executives allegedly displayed a PowerPoint presentation to a room full of more than 200 salespeople that featured a former company employee dead in a body bag. At the end of the presentation, Strain says Millennium executives ominously told the utterly astounded audience that the company could not protect anyone who veered "outside the Millennium family," which is where the cult-like ideology took a turn for the worst.
No room for defectors in cut-throat urine drug testing industryAs it turns out, any employee who left Millennium, regardless of the reason, instantly became a company target, according to the witnesses. When employees were not being wrongfully terminated for questioning unethical, and sometimes outright immoral, activities at Millennium, they were being coerced into basically keeping their mouths shut and sticking with the company no matter what disturbing direction its business practices might take, claim the company's defectors.
Kelly Nelson, for instance, a former regional sales manager at Millennium, claims the company violated federal anti-kickback laws by giving away urine collection cups and testing strips to doctors, who she says were actively encouraged to order unnecessary drug tests with them in order to boost profits. And when she brought up valid concerns to her superiors about her discomfort with the program, she says she was promptly fired from her position. She is now reportedly suing the company.
"After a time, you come to the conclusion they're doing it to harass you more than anything else, or to intimidate you," added Lori Martin, the girlfriend of the former salesman who was tagged in the PowerPoint presentation as the corpse inside the body bag, about her experience. Martin told reporters that Millennium, which tried to sue her boyfriend, actually hired private investigators to track the couple and monitor their everyday moves in an effort to terrorize them for defecting from the company.
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