The owners of the company that makes the Whizzinator, a prosthetic penis used to mask illegal drug use, were charged yesterday in federal court with conspiracy to defraud the government and are expected to plead guilty.
Gerald Wills, the president of Puck Technology, based in Signal Hill, Calif., and Robert D. Catalano, the vice president, are charged in a 19-page criminal information of conspiracy for selling two different products that mask illegal substances in a user's urine.
The products, the Whizzinator and Number 1, are sold through the company's Web sites.
As part of the case, the government is moving for forfeiture of all of the company's assets, as well as its Internet domain names.
The charges were brought, at least in part, after undercover law enforcement officers ordered one of each product and had them shipped to the Western District of Pennsylvania.
According to the criminal informations, the company and its owners defrauded the government's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which is tasked with overseeing federal workplace drug testing programs.
The company conducted its business very much in public, including testimonials on its Web sites, including one from a truck driver who said he was able to beat quarterly drug tests by the Department of Transportation using its products.
Stanton D. Levenson, who represents the company, previously said that he didn't think the government could make a drug paraphernalia case against his client.
But yesterday, Mr. Levenson said he did research that showed his earlier opinion was wrong.
"We're convinced that the government's theory is correct, and the government has a case," he said. "Obviously, it's serious if somebody is faking drug tests who is then driving a tractor-trailer or a bus or flying an airplane."
There is a plea agreement, but Mr. Levenson said he could not discuss it.
Paula Reed Ward can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-2620.