A federal jury has convicted Javaid Perwaiz, a gynecologist accused of defrauding insurance companies by performing unnecessary procedures including hysterectomies and early induced labor, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release. On Monday, the jury convicted the Chesapeake doctor on 52 counts related to the scheme.
“Perwaiz billed private and governmental insurers millions of dollars for irreversible hysterectomies and other surgeries and procedures that were not medically necessary for his patients,” the press release states. “In many instances, Perwaiz would falsely tell his patients that they needed the surgeries to avoid cancer in order to induce them to agree to the surgeries.”
Perwaiz practiced in the Hampton Roads area since the 1980s, but the charges relate to activity from 2010-2019. A June 2020 indictment alleged that Perwaiz would report falsified symptoms to insurance companies to justify the procedures he charged for. He also falsely claimed to perform diagnostic procedures in his office.
“Perwaiz routinely and aggressively encouraged women to consent to irreversible, invasive, and unnecessary gynecological procedures and surgeries. For instance, Perwaiz routinely told patients that she would develop cancer if she did not undergo surgery and that she already had cancer and required surgery,” the indictment alleged. “Perwaiz routinely did not counsel and offer less-invasive medical options to his patients other than the invasive gynecological procedures and surgeries.”
“Dr. Perwaiz preyed upon his trusting patients and committed horrible crimes to feed his greed,” G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia said in the press release. “Dr. Perwaiz has a history of fraud including having his medical license and hospital privileges revoked. Nothing was going to stop him but the brave victims who testified against him and law enforcement.”
The DOJ press release states, “The evidence at trial also demonstrated that Perwaiz falsified records for his obstetric patients so that he could induce their labor early, prior to the recommended gestational age that minimizes risk to the mother and baby, to ensure he would be able to conduct and be reimbursed for the deliveries.”
According to the June 2020 indictment, Perwaiz had been terminated from a hospital’s staff in 1983 for “poor clinical judgment, unnecessary surgery, lack of documentation, and discrepancies in record keeping.” According to the indictment, he was formally censured in 1984 “for lack of documentation of patient records and lack of judgment in regards to a sexual relationship with a patient.”
In 1996 the doctor pled guilty to two counts of felony tax evasion. “In part, this included Perwaiz attempting to claim the purchase of a Ferrari sports car as a business expense by labeling it as a purchase of an ultrasound machine for his practice,” the 2020 indictment states. Perwaiz’s medical license was subsequently suspended until 1999, according to the indictment.
Then, in September 2018, the FBI initiated a new case against Perwaiz after a hospital employee submitted a tip about unnecessary surgeries, according to a 2019 affidavit for a warrant against the doctor. “Perwaiz’s patients advised hospital staff they were present for their ‘annual clean outs.’ In many instances, the patients were not aware of the procedures they were undergoing,” the affidavit states.
In November 2019, the AP reported that Perwaiz was being held without bond. Although COVID-19 delayed his court appearances, a federal jury convicted the doctor on Monday. He will face sentencing on March 31, 2021. “Perwaiz faces a maximum penalty of 465 years in prison,” the DOJ press release states. “Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.”
“Doctors are in positions of authority and trust and take an oath to do no harm to their patients,” Karl Schumann, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, said in the press release. “With unnecessary, invasive medical procedures, Dr. Perwaiz not only caused enduring complications, pain and anxiety to his patients, but he assaulted the most personal part of their lives and even robbed some of their future. The brave patients and nurses who came forward and testified deserve our gratitude for helping end this horrible scheme.”
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