ADAMS COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM)– A local veterinarian was sentenced this week for submitting false animal blood samples for years to the U.S. Department of Agriculture that were being used to test for diseases.

Dr. Donald Yorlets, 68, of New Oxford, will be on probation for 24 months and will also spend a year on home detention after he was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer P. Wilson, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced Tuesday. He will also have to pay a fine of $50,000.

According to The Department of Justice, an investigation that started in 2017 found that Yorlets submitted false samples from 2016 to 2019 and issued false inspection certificates.

Yorlets, along with Daniel and Benjamin Gutman, owners of Gutman Brothers Dairy Cattle who have a location in York County, reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture lab in Harrisburg that cows were tested for Bovine Tuberculosis when they weren’t.

The Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory (PVL) sent the 804 blood samples that Yorlets gave to the USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory for Antibody Profile testing when they became aware that the submitted samples were falsified.

The results, which should have been unique for each animal if the samples were real, showed only 70 of the samples had different results.

“The results confirmed that Dr. Yorlets’ repeatedly submitted the same blood samples for different animals and issued false Certificates of Veterinary Inspection for hundreds of cows that were never tested,” the release reads. 

Under federal law, cattle that are being transported by interstate or international commerce must be tested for bovine diseases such as Bovine Tuberculosis and even Bovine Leucosis, according to U.S. Attorney Gerard M. Karam. Some of the diseases can be transmitted to humans under certain circumstances.

For international commerce, animals must have an International Certificate of Veterinarian Inspection (ICVI) which is done by a USDA-accredited veterinarian.

By Yorlets submitting the false blood test results, the Gutman brothers were able to export the cattle to Mexico, Canada, Qatar, and Puerto Rico.

Yorlets, who was licensed to be a Pennsylvania veterinarian in 1981, had his license suspended for six months after pleading guilty in August 2020 and was also removed from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Accreditation Program.

The Gutman brothers were sentenced to 30 months in prison and were ordered to pay $1,938,646.42 in fines and forfeiture.