(STL.News) – A federal jury convicted a Chesapeake doctor today on 52 counts related to his scheme to bill private and governmental insurers millions of dollars for irreversible hysterectomies and other surgeries and procedures that were not medically necessary for his patients.
According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Dr. Javaid Perwaiz, an obstetrician-gynecologist who has practiced in Hampton Roads since the 1980s, executed a scheme to defraud health insurance programs between at least 2010 and 2019. During that period, 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. 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.
“Dr. Perwaiz preyed upon his trusting patients and committed horrible crimes to feed his greed,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “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. My thanks to the trial team for their outstanding work in what was a very complex case, and to our investigative partners for their efforts in helping bring Dr. Perwaiz to justice.”
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. Perwaiz also violated the 30-day waiting period Medicaid requires for elective sterilizations by submitting backdated forms to falsely make it appear as if he had complied with the waiting period. Finally, Perwaiz billed insurance hundreds of thousands of dollars for diagnostic procedures that he only pretended to perform at his office.
“Not only did this doctor defraud our health care system out of millions of dollars, he did so by putting the health and safety of his patients at risk by performing unnecessary surgeries on women,” said Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia. “Doctors who take advantage of the trust their patients put in them must be brought to justice. I want to thank my team for their hard work on this egregious case and our local, state, and federal partners for their continued partnership in holding dangerous individuals accountable.”
The witnesses at trial included dozens of former patients, some of whom testified to the complications they continue to endure as a result of the unnecessary surgeries Perwaiz performed. Witnesses also included nurses who worked at the hospitals where Perwaiz performed his surgeries, who testified that they repeatedly complained about his practices to their supervisors.
“Doctors are in positions of authority and trust and take an oath to do no harm to their patients,” said Karl Schumann, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office. “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. Let this case demonstrate the FBI’s commitment to hold accountable anyone who abuses their position of trust.”
“In his desire to line his pockets, Dr. Perwaiz callously ignored his patients’ health and well-being by conducting medically unnecessary and irreversible medical procedures,” said Maureen R. Dixon, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General. “Physicians who recklessly place patients at risk to boost their own profits will be held accountable for their actions.”
Perwaiz faces a maximum penalty of 465 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 31. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Karl Schumann, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia; Maureen R. Dixon, Special Agent in Charge, Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; and Chris Dillard, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Mid-Atlantic Field Office, made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith accepted the verdict.