Read an interview with Dallas criminal defense attorney Mick Mickelsen about his work on a high-profile federal environmental laboratory fraud case. Alongside other prominent Dallas defense attorneys, Mr. Mickelsen was able to obtain not guilty verdicts on all 79 counts in the multi-defendant case.
Mr. Mickelsen has over twenty years of experience as a criminal defense attorney, and has represented hundreds of clients, with cases at both state and federal levels. Mr. Mickelsen is a partner at Broden & Mickelsen Criminal Defense Attorneys.
What is Laboratory Fraud?
The environmental protection agency defines laboratory fraud as ““the deliberate falsification of analytical and quality assurance results, where failed methods and contractual requirements are made to appear acceptable.”
This definition encompasses a wide range of activities in laboratories, including:
- Fabrication of data
- Misrepresentation of quality control samples
- Use of unacceptable or non-standard calibration procedures for laboratory equipment,
- Falsification of records
- Manipulation of analytics results, or modification of samples
- Substitution of samples, files, or data
Environmental laboratories are facilities that are responsible for testing for contaminants that affect human and wildlife health. These laboratories must conform to national standards to provide high quality research about areas such as drinking water, surface water, waste water, sediment, air, fish, soil and hazardous waste. Data from environmental laboratories is used to develop environmental cleanup procedures and guide environmental policymaking.
Federal Environmental Laboratory Fraud Case Study with Dallas Defense Attorney Mick Mickelsen
Q: What were the circumstances of this specific lab fraud case?
This case involved an environmental laboratory that was accused of providing fraudulent lab results to the US Government over several years. The biggest problem with the laboratory was the gas chromatography it was performing. Gas chromatography is used to determine the chemical composition of a given sample. It is a fairly complicated and time consuming process. The EPA had conducted an extensive audit of the laboratory and determined that the analysts conducting the gas chromatography testing were manipulating the results to save time.
Q: How did your client in this case find you?
The environmental laboratory company had hired a New York City law firm to represent it. But the government had charged many individuals, including several of the analysts, all of whom needed separate counsel. My client was referred to me.
Q: What was the client facing, if convicted?
He was facing up to ten years in prison.
Q: What defense strategy did you use in this case?
Our defense was that the analysts were poorly trained and were not intentionally manipulating the results. The government’s case really fell apart when we cross-examined their experts on gas chromatography and demonstrated that they themselves were consistent in the manner with which they interpreted the gas chromatography data. We were also able to show how the government contracts were so underpaid the laboratory was forced to rely on poorly trained analysts.
Q: Did your strategy work? What was the result of the case?
After a six week trial the jury acquitted every defendant on every charge.
Dallas White Collar Crime Defense Attorneys — Broden & Mickelsen
If you have been charged with criminal offenses, it is crucial to discuss your case with a criminal defense lawyer who has experience handling white collar crime cases. Broden & Mickelsen provides aggressive and ethical representation to individuals and businesses accused of criminal offenses. The firm accomplishes this through its unique team approach to criminal defense, which involves both partners actively participating in the case.
To achieve a favorable resolution, Broden and Mickelsen evaluate each case individually and utilize all the resources available. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization has certified criminal defense attorneys Clint Broden and Mick Mickelsen as experts in criminal law for trials and appeals.
Call Broden & Mickelsen to discuss the details of your case today: (214) 720-9552.