NEWARK, NJ — Rachael A. Honig, the Acting U.S. Attorney, announced that a French national appeared in federal court on Wednesday because he was trying to fraudulently control the right to sell weight-loss drugs in the United States.
Prosecutors said Alain Bouaziz, 68, a French citizen and a resident of the United Arab Emirates, was arrested at Newark Liberty Airport while trying to leave the United States.
He was accused of making false statements to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
According to prosecutors, Buaziz represented himself as chief operating officer of Hexim Pharmaceuticals (Hexim), a company headquartered in Secaucus, New Jersey. Hexim was known as Alkopharma USA Inc. before changing its name to Alkopharma USA Inc. in June 2013.
Beginning in February 2018, the prosecutor claimed that Bouaziz submitted forged documents and false statements to the FDA to fraudulently control Sanorex, which is a weight-loss drug owned by a large international pharmaceutical company (Pharmaceutical Company-1).
The authorities stated that Bouaziz sent letters and documents to the FDA via e-mail and hard copy, falsely claiming that Hexim had purchased Sanorex's new drug application, and requested a meeting to discuss the marketing of Sanorex in the United States.
The prosecutor claimed that Bouaziz knew these statements were false because Hexim did not have the right to purchase Sanorex from Pharmaceutical Company-1. The documents Bouaziz submitted to the FDA contained multiple forgeries and misrepresentations. One example is that an early agreement between Alkopharma and Pharmaceutical Company-1 has been changed, claiming to sell Sanorex to Hexim.
Allegations of misrepresentation are punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the total profit or loss caused by the crime, whichever is the highest.
Acting US Attorney Honig attributed the Food and Drug Administration agents of the Office of Criminal Investigation to Agent Jeffrey Ebersole for the investigation, which led to the allegations.
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