CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia gynecologist who performed multiple unnecessary surgeries on women as part of a health care fraud scheme was found guilty on 52 of 61 charges Monday by a federal jury.
Javaid Perwaiz, who was was arrested in November 2019, had been on trial in federal court since early October. He had pleaded not guilty to all charges.
He could face up to 465 years in prison, WAVY reports.
Prosecutors believe that Perwaiz, who worked in Hampton Roads since the 1980s, committed these crimes over the course of about 10 years. They believe Perwaiz made money by submitting false insurance claims for procedures that weren’t medically necessary, and that he justified the procedures by falsifying patient statements and diagnoses. Prosecutors said Perwaiz altered sterilization consent forms, and in some cases, allegedly filed insurance claims for procedures that weren’t done at all.
Perwaiz billed for more than $2.3 million in gynecological procedures and surgeries based, at least in part, on the findings of diagnostic procedures that were never done, according to court documents.
“I think he kind of deserves to spend the rest of life in prison,” said a patient identified as D.B.P. “He’s ruined a lot of people’s lives.”
D.B.P. took the stand during the four-week trial. She told the jury how the doctor she trusted said getting her tubes tied — a procedure called a tubal ligation — could be reversed.
“He told me there was a 99% chance of having a baby as well,” she added.
Years later, Perwaiz did a tubal ligation reversal to reattach her fallopian tubes. She has had four miscarriages since and no baby.
“It was kind of heartbreaking especially spending so much money to get it reversed. I might have well just waited and saved the money or went in another direction,” D.B.P. said. “It helps a lot of patients … we needed that guilty charge to help with closure.”
Perwaiz billed insurance companies for millions of dollars to do procedures on women that weren’t medically necessary. That included doing hysterectomies and other irreversible surgeries.
“I can’t imagine a case of someone that is more egregious in violating their oath and the trust that is placed in them,” said U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger.
During the four-week trial, the jury heard repeatedly how Perwaiz also billed insurance companies for in-office diagnostic procedures that he only pretended to perform. Those findings sometimes led to surgery.
“For some of these victims, they had no idea that these were medically unnecessary procedures until this case was brought,” Terwilliger added. “I imagine that many of them are still going through the stages of grief with learning the news.”
The 70-year-old didn’t have any reaction as the verdict was read. He is facing a maximum sentence of 465 years in prison. He will be sentenced March 31.
“There are a lot of things people aren’t going to be able to experience from this,” D.B.P. said. “A lot of people can’t have babies … it is taking [the] life away [from him] that he took away from other people.”
(Information from WAVY.com)