A Richland researcher who operated a well-known clinic has been indicted and found guilty on a 47-count indictment that he defrauded pharmaceutical companies out of millions in research money, endangered lives of patients and more.

Sami Anwar operated Zain Medical Clinic, also known as ZMC, and set up phony research companies reportedly to find cures for such ailments as diabetes, stop smoking programs, and lowering cholesterol. His fraudulent activities began in 2013.

These phony programs involved 'stealing' and using the credentials of business associates, then blackmailing or extorting workers to help cover it up. Federal officials say Anwar had a group of about a dozen co-conspirators, it is not known if or when they face charges. It began to really unravel for Anwar in late 2017, when he physically confronted former partner Dr. Cheta Nand, which led to his arrest.

Federal officials had already begun to investigate suspicious activity and audits also were showing Anwar could be committing fraud. He is also accused of using the ID and credentials, and later attempting to export, Dr. Luke Megna.

A number of his former workers also filed complaints with authorities about sexual harassment, and other forms of extortion in attempts to get them to continue to cooperate with his elaborate scams. The details of many of them are shocking.

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