Canadian Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Fake Cancer Drugs in Arizona and Abroad
At the federal courthouse in Phoenix this morning, a Canadian man pleaded guilty to selling counterfeit cancer medication over the Internet to victims in Arizona and as far away as Belgium.
Hazim Gaber, 22, of Edmonton, Canada, pleaded guilty to five counts of wire fraud after selling the bogus drugs over the Web from October 2007 to November 2007, as well as selling more than 800 pirated copies of business software between February 2007 and December
The drug Gaber claimed to be selling his customers was an experimental cancer medication called sodium dichloroacetate, or DCA.
DCA is not approved for use in the United States, or Canada, but is highly sought after by cancer patients throughout the world after a 2007 report showed that DCA caused regression in several cancers, including lung cancer, breast cancer, and cancerous brain tumors.
Gaber, however, wasn't selling DCA -- he was selling "a white, powdery substance that was later determined through laboratory tests to contain starch, dextrin, dextrose or lactose, and contained no DCA."
Gaber charged victims in the United States, Canada, Belgium, Holland, and Great Britain $23.68 for 10 grams of the bunk DCA, $45.52 for 20 grams, or $110.27 for 100 grams, plus shipping.
Gaber, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, sold the "drug" on a Web site he created called DCAdvice.com.
Gaber was arrested on July 25, 2009, in Frankfurt, Germany, and extradited to Phoenix because a complaint against him originated in Arizona.
At his sentencing hearing, scheduled for August 2, Gaber faces a maximum 20-year prison sentence for each of the five counts of wire fraud to which he pleaded guilty. Gaber also faces maximum fines of $250,000 per count. As part of the plea agreement, Gaber agreed to forfeit or cancel any Web site, domain name, or Internet services account related to this fraud scheme.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.