A Pakistani national has been indicted for his alleged role in a large-scale international scheme to defraud individuals of more than $12 million.
Mustafa H. Arif, who also holds British citizenship, is alleged to have operated a series of websites promoting a variety of drugs and claiming that these products would cure many serious diseases. The websites targeted people from New Hampshire and throughout the world.
Arif was indicted on one count of wire fraud and two counts of shipping misbranded drugs in interstate commerce. The charges relate to the hundreds of websites controlled by Arif while operating in Pakistan. The websites, many of which included falsified clinical research, promoted drugs for serious and sometimes incurable illnesses like anemia, developmental disabilities, attention deficit disorder, Bell's palsy and bulimia.
Arif was arraigned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Concord, New Hampshire, and his case is scheduled for trial on June 16. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison for the wire fraud count and up to three years in prison for each count of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce.
The investigation was led by the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations, along with Homeland Security Investigations. Assistance was provided by the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office, Portsmouth Police, the U.S. Consulate, the Department of Justice and several other international agencies.