Hazim Gaber, an Edmonton man who sold a fake cancer treatment over the internet, is going to spend the next 33 months in a U.S. prison.
Hazim Gaber, 22, is also facing a $75,000 fine and must pay $53,724 in restitution, after being sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Phoenix.
Gaber was convicted in June of selling fake sodium dichloroacetate, also known as DCA, through his website DCAdvice.com. At least 65 people in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands purchased product from the website.
He was convicted of five cases of wire fraud for selling the substance to U.S. consumers. He was arrested in Frankfurt, Germany, and extradited to the U.S. in 2009.
DCA is a drug being investigated as a cancer-fighting agent by researchers at the University of Alberta. It has not been proven effective, but early research shows promise. It is not currently available to cancer patients except in clinical trials.
The court heard the white powder Gaber claimed to be DCA was actually starch, dextrin, dextrose or lactose. The packages also contained a fraudulent certificate of analysis from a fictitious laboratory.
'He will go to prison for this bogus business and heartless fraud.' — Dennis K. Burke, U.S. attorney
According to a plea agreement, Gaber acknowledged his website contained false claims that it was the only legal supplier of DCA and that it was associated with the University of Alberta.
"Gaber used the internet to victimize people already suffering from the effects of cancer," said Dennis K. Burke, U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona.
"Now he will go to prison for this bogus business and heartless fraud."
Although Gaber was based in Canada, the FBI cyber squad out of Phoenix led the case against him.