August 6, 2020

Lab owner headed to prison for falsifying public water quality tests

A lab owner hired to insure water quality for dozens of Mississippi towns has been sentenced to 18 months for faking his test results.

John H. Couey, 44, of Greenville falsified more than 1,000 lab reports sent to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. attorney for Mississippi’s Northern District, William C. Lamar, said in a news release Friday.

He was sentenced Thursday.

Online court records show he waived indictment and pleaded guilty April 18 to five felony counts of falsifying documents required under the Clean Water Act.

Couey is owner and lab director of Davis Research Inc. in Avon, Mississippi.

The company tested water for more than 100 cities, towns, state and federal agencies, and businesses in the Mississippi Delta, according to Lamar.

Senior U.S. District Judge Glen Davidson sentenced Couey to 18 months on each count but set them to run simultaneously.

The maximum penalty for each count is 2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Couey is scheduled to report to prison March 16.