October 11, 2016: Foreign National Pleads Guilty To International Wire Fraud Scheme
CONCORD, N.H. –Mustafa Hasan Arif, an individual with dual citizenship in Pakistan and the United Kingdom, appeared in United States District Court in Concord, NH today where he pled guilty to wire fraud. Arif defrauded individuals by fraudulently selling drugs claiming to cure many serious diseases. Arif targeted individuals around the world, including victims in New Hampshire, announced United States Attorney Emily Rice.
According to court records, while in Lahore, Pakistan, Arif created, maintained and controlled over 1,500 websites that promoted the sale of drugs claiming to cure and treat hundreds of diseases, many of which were incurable, including cerebral palsy, mental retardation, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and emphysema. The websites included falsified cure rates, false clinical research and fabricated testimonials. One series of websites fraudulently claimed to have shown in clinical trials a cure rate of 90 percent, while other websites included links to clinical research that had not been written about the drugs on the websites. Arif falsely represented that the drugs were being sold by entities in Germany, Norway, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Denmark when in fact the drugs were all being sold and shipped from Pakistan. Arif used those false addresses to make customers more comfortable purchasing the drugs. Documents in the case show that Arif ‘s scheme generated more than $12 million in fraudulent sales.
Arif was originally arrested on a criminal complaint issued in New Hampshire after he flew into New York in February 2014 on a business trip. He appeared in federal court in New York and was transferred to New Hampshire, where he has remained in custody. Arif is scheduled to be sentenced on January 26, 2017.
This investigation was led by the FDA/Office of Criminal Investigations, Cybercrime Investigations Unit along with Homeland Security Investigations. Assistance during the investigation was provided by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, Portsmouth New Hampshire Police Department, the United States Consulate, Diplomatic Security Service Lagos, Nigeria office, New Zealand Ministry of Health, United Kingdom Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, and the Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs. The investigation is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Arnold H. Huftalen and Senior Counsel Sarah Hawkins of the FDA/Office of Chief Counsel.