Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

National Institute for Alcohol Recovery files for bankruptcy

A defunct Montgomery County-based addiction recovery company whose main product was a do-it-yourself home-based treatment for alcoholism has filed for bankruptcy, owing more than $1 million to casting agents, web designers and public relations companies.

The National Institute for Alcohol Recovery LLC, or NIFAR, filed for liquidation Nov. 24, listing $1.14 million in debts and no assets.

According to court documents, the company’s biggest creditors are Bethesda-based Eagle Bank and Utah-based Occurrence Teleservices — which fields sales calls from infomercials. Both companies are listed as being owed $300,000. San Francisco-based DVD and CD replication service company SF Video is the next biggest creditor and is owed $119,231.

Calls to company founder Kamran Loghman’s attorney, Lawrence F. Regan Jr. of Garza, Regan & Associates in Rockville, were not returned. NIFAR’s corporate office phone has been disconnected. Contact information for Loghman could not be found.

Additionally, all websites associated with NIFAR and its programs have been taken down and replaced with ads for web hosting companies.

Many of the debts come from Regenerate, NIFAR’S five-year old alcohol recovery program, which was a kit with 24 CDs, a workbook and vitamins that customers were supposed to use on their own time. NIFAR had launched a revamped Regenerate website last December and had created video ads featuring actor portrayals of alcohol addiction stories. Customers could also visit the site to download or listen to audio files for support.

NIFAR was the brainchild of Loghman, an entrepreneur who was previously CEO of Zarc International Inc., a law enforcement supply company. Loghman is credited with a patent for the first commercially sold pepper spray, which Zarc sold. In a biography posted online, Loghman claims knowledge of hypnosis, martial arts, meditation and involvement in “secret yoga traditions of North India for the past 35 years.”

NIFAR’s Regenerate program was pitched as an alternative way to address alcoholism. The company stressed to potential customers that working in the privacy of their homes would be more attractive to people who might otherwise not seek  treatment to avoid public recognition of a problem.

“The whole concept sounded great up front, helping people out and everything,” said Eric Burka, owner of Burka Studios in Bethesda, which built the NIFAR website. “But, it turned out he just lied, cheated and stole from everyone.”

Burka filed a lawsuit against Loghman and NIFAR in November in Montgomery County District Court. Burka’s studio, which does website design and development, is listed as being owed $6,722.

In addition to Burka Studios, NIFAR was sued by Carlyn Davis Casting, a Virginia-based talent agency that is owed $5,520. Other talent agencies, copywriters and sound and video producers are among those owed money. NIFAR also owes $32,133 to Gaia Herbs Inc., a vitamin distributor in Brevard, N.C.

“I don’t think anyone ended up getting anything,” said Don Summers, owner of S2 Designlab in Walkersville, who designed the revamped Regenerate website and is owed nearly $19,000.

The bankruptcy effort could be a bitter one, according to one filing. In a motion filed Thursday, Regan asked the court for permission to keep his client’s home address out of the court record in lieu of a post office box.

“One of the creditors threatened Mr. Loghman’s life approximately two months ago — pre-petition,” Regan wrote. “Mr. Loghman is concerned that filing his address would negatively affect his personal safety.”

A court date has not been set.