A Huntington Beach man was sentenced by a U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh Thursday to three years probation for selling a product called the Whizzinator which had prosthetic penises to help people cheat workplace drug tests, according to a Department of Justice press release.
Robert Catalano, 65, pleaded guilty in 2008 to conspiracy to sell drug paraphernalia and conspiracy to defraud the United States.
Company Puck Technology Inc., in Signal Hill in Calif., sold products called the Whizzinator, Yellow River and Number 1 which allowed men and women to simulate urination in order to register a false negative during drug testing.
His business partner Gerald Willis, 67 of San Pedro, was sentenced to six months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release, the release said. Willis has spent nearly six year in prison for marijuana trafficking in the mid-1980s, according to an Associated Press report.
The devices were designed to help illicit drug users, usually those in public health or safety sensitive positions, pass employer drug tests, the Department of Justice press release said.
Prosecutors asked for leniency because the two men have continued to cooperate in other investigations, according to an Associated Press report. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary McKeen Houghton would not detail those other investigations and her motion seeking leniency was under seal, the report said.
The Whizzinator attracted the attention of Congress in 2005 when a National Football League player tried to cheat a drug test. Then-Minnesota Vikings running back Onterrio Smith was detained at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport with the prosthetic and a packet of dehydrated urine. A House subcommittee held a hearing but no action was taken.
Actor Tom Sizemore also was caught with one after he attempted to evade drug tests while on probation.
As part of the investigation, undercover purchases of the products were made on Sept. 8, 2006, and Feb. 7, 2007. The company has stopped operating.