BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts psychiatrist and his wife both face charges in connection with a scheme to illegally import medications to treat alcohol and opioid dependence from China and falsify shipping documents to hide the contents of the imported packages, federal prosecutors said Friday.

Dr. Rahim Shafa, 62, and Nahid “Nina” Tormosi Shafa, 62, both of Lexington, were indicted on a charge of international money laundering conspiracy, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Boston.

Rahim Shafa was also indicted on charges of money laundering, conspiracy to defraud the United States, importing merchandise contrary to law, and receiving and delivering misbranded drugs with an intent to defraud, prosecutors said.

The couple’s attorney, when reached by phone, said she would have a comment later Friday.

Shafa owned and operated Novel Psychopharmacology in Milford and Natick and his wife was the office manager, authorities said.

The medications imported from January 2008 until January 2018 and offered for sale to patients were in a form not approved by the FDA, prosecutors said.

“Distributing illegally imported prescription drugs of unknown origin and ingredients instead of FDA-approved drugs places the U.S. public health at risk,” FDA Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey J. Ebersole said in a news release.

Authorities contend the couple also falsified shipping documents to make the packages containing the drugs look like lawful imports, in one case saying a package contained “plastic beads in plastic tubes.”

“In order to make money, the defendants allegedly circumvented mandatory FDA drug inspections and took advantage of vulnerable patients who sought to escape addiction through legitimate treatment,” U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in the release.

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Comments (3)
  1. D. M. says:

    Had Shafa as a doctor from 2001 till 2004. He was prescribing many meds. back then. The Ma. Board of Medicine found his care to be substandard. Upon appeal his lawyer had case dropped. That was in February of 2018. I hope the Federal investigation looks back at his books statring in 2001!

  2. barbara garner says:

    went to dr rahim shafa for many years , he had me addicted to many drugs in high doses !! its about time he and nina got caught , he faces federal charges , and international money laundering !! waited hours , and asked to pay cash , i saw him mandatory weekly appointments , i did not see him for drugs or alcohol abuse , i could say so much more , he should be spending time in jail , also was berated n drug tested weekly even though i wasnt there for that , another way to get fraudulent money , , justice must be served !!!!!!!!

  3. J says:

    Dr Shafa saved my life. Got me off drugs & alcohol and prescribed me medication for my crippling mental illness. I wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for this man. His office wait times were because he didn’t treat patients like a “15 minute time slot”, rather he gave them the full care they needed. If you waited past your appointment time, I thank you for that because it’s why people like me are alive.

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