Mr. Rahsaan Garth, owner of Polaris Allergy Labs in East Point Georgia, has been sentenced to 3 years 10 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release, and has been ordered to pay approximately $246,000 in restitution for faking the results of allergy tests.
According to the Criminal Information filed by federal prosecutors, Mr. Garth opened Polaris, which provided skin “scratch” and blood allergy testing for food and environmental allergens in both children and adults, in March 2011. Polaris employed an unspecified number of phlebotomists, who were placed in referring physician offices to perform the scratch tests as well as draw blood.
Ordinarily, the phlebotomists would send a requisition form which contained the specific allergens the physician wanted to be tested along with the blood back to Polaris, where a laboratory technician would test the patient’s serum on an Immulite 2000 analyzer.
But, starting in September 2012 and continuing until February 2014, Mr. Garth instructed his lab technician to forego the requested testing if the patient was older than 12 years of age or was an adult who did not have a “reported highly allergic” scratch test so as to save money on testing reagents.
The lab tech was instructed in these cases to simply throw the patient’s blood away and send a blank test report form to Mr. Garth, who would fabricate the test results and send them to the requesting physician. Mr. Garth would sometimes generate reports that indicated the patient did not have a reaction to any of the allergens requested, but, in an effort to keep physicians from growing suspicious, would also occasionally report positive results as well.
In other instances, if Polaris did not have certain allergen reagents in stock, Mr. Garth would instruct the lab tech to perform tests with the reagents Polaris did have, and Mr. Garth would simply falsify the results for the allergens not in stock.
Mr. Garth also apparently sometimes falsified results in patients younger than 12 and in patients who had reactive skin tests.