“Dr Perwaiz preyed upon his trusting patients"
A gynaecologist from Virginia, United States, has been found guilty of submitting false insurance claims.
The fraudulent activities come after he performed what the authorities described as unnecessary surgeries on women. This included life-altering hysterectomies and tubal ligations.
Javaid Perwaiz, aged 70, was convicted on November 9, 2020, of 52 counts related to defrauding health insurance programs and falsely telling his patients they needed surgeries.
Perwaiz, who was based in Chesapeake and had practised medicine for nearly forty years, faces a maximum sentence of 465 years in prison.
He is set to be sentenced on March 31, 2021.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said:
“Dr Perwaiz preyed upon his trusting patients and committed horrible crimes to feed his greed.”
Karl Schumann, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Norfolk field office, said:
“Doctors are in positions of authority and trust and take an oath to do no harm to their patients.
“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.”
Perwaiz was arrested after an FBI investigation found that he had been carrying out a healthcare fraud scheme that included performing procedures with broken equipment and convincing patients into having surgery.
Many of the procedures were unwanted. Since his arrest, 173 women had come forward to report similar experiences.
The gynaecologist billed private and governmental insurers millions of dollars for irreversible procedures that were unnecessary for his “own financial gain”.
In some cases, he would falsely tell his patients they needed surgery to avoid cancer.
During the trial in mid-October 2020, prosecutors said Perwaiz falsified the records of pregnant patients so he could induce their labour early to ensure he would be reimbursed for the deliveries.
Nurses working with Perwaiz said they repeatedly complained about the gynaecologist to their supervisors.
Perwaiz was previously sentenced to five years probation in 1996 after he pleaded guilty to two counts of tax fraud. He also paid over $100,000 in fines.
While some of his victims welcomed the conviction, others felt it did little to comfort them.
One patient, Angela Lee, aged 61, revealed that she underwent a hysterectomy performed by Perwaiz in 2002 which led to complications.
She suffered heavy bleeding and was placed in an induced coma for days.
She said: “I’m feeling like what happened to him is not sufficient for the people whose lives he hurt.
“I’m really, really angry. And the anger has not subsided after all these years. It’s making me feel like it happened to me yesterday.
“The rest of my life I gotta look at this ugly scar on my stomach.
“I gotta think about the pain that he inflicted on me that he got paid for.”