The relationship between a woman and her OB/GYN is sacred. Women should feel safe and empowered when talking about their reproductive health with a medical provider.
But authorities say Javaid Perwaiz, 71, a former OB/GYN from Virginia, violated that trust. The Department of Justice announced yesterday that the MD will face nearly 60 years in prison for misleading/conning his patients into unnecessary medical procedures. It’s a tragedy that left many women unable to bear children.
Convicted on 52 Counts
Records indicate that Perwaiz operated out of two offices in the Chesapeake Bay area in Virginia. The criminal investigation started back in 2018 when a hospital employee contacted the FBI with the suspicion that Perwaiz was performing invasive procedures on women without their consent.
During the trial last year, more than 25 patients testified on behalf of the prosecution. The court also received more than 60 victim impact statements, including testimony that Perwaiz “routinely used the C-word [cancer] to scare patients into having surgery.”
In November, a jury found Perwaiz guilty on 52 counts of healthcare fraud, as well as several counts related to his time as an OB/GYN between 2010 and 2019. The court found that the now-disgraced specialist had a habit of defrauding insurance companies by convincing patients to undergo medically unnecessary procedures, including hysterectomies and improper sterilizations. The scheme garnered $21 million in kickbacks over the years.
The court also found that Perwaiz would tell his patients they had to get these procedures because they either had cancer or would get cancer if they didn’t, neither of which turned out to be true.
“Motivated by his insatiable and reprehensible greed, Perwaiz used an arsenal of horrifying tactics to manipulate and deceive patients into undergoing invasive, unnecessary, and devastating medical procedures,” Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said after the sentence came down. “These fraudulent and destructive surgeries caused irreversible damage to the victims.”
The Attorney General of Virginia, Mark Herring, also weighed in on the case. “This individual not only defrauded our healthcare system out of millions of dollars, he did so by performing unnecessary surgeries on women and putting their health and safety at risk. Doctors should never take advantage of the trust that their patients put in them, and those who do should be held accountable.”
“When unscrupulous healthcare providers such as Perwaiz put greed above patient care, they not only violate public trust, they stain the profession,” said Christopher W. Dillard, Special Agent in Charge of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s Mid-Atlantic Field Office.
Evidence also shows that the former OB/GYN falsified records for obstetrics patients to induce labor early, so he could bill the insurance companies for a successful delivery. He billed companies millions for diagnostic testing that he only pretended to do at his office.
Perwaiz also violated Medicaid’s 30-day waiting period for elective sterilizations after childbirth. He would then go back and falsify the dates to make it look like he satisfied the requirements.
He’s now facing 59 years in prison for his crimes as a licensed provider.
Records show that Perwaiz had a history of getting into trouble before the criminal probe began in 2018. His hospital privileges were revoked at Maryview Hospital in Portsmouth, VA for “poor clinical judgment and for performing unnecessary surgeries,” according to the affidavit.
He also pleaded guilty to two counts of tax evasion in 1996, leading to the suspension of his medical license, but it was eventually reinstated in 1998.
Victims Come Forward
Attorney Parekh said Perwaiz’s conviction wouldn’t have been possible without the women who came forward with allegations of abuse. He praised their “resilience, strength, and courage” to speak up about what happened to them while visiting the OB/GYN.
“While no prosecution can undo the lifelong trauma that Perwaiz cruelly inflicted on his patients, today’s sentence ensures that the victims and their families have the last word,” Parekh said in a statement.
In one instance from 2011, Perwaiz treated a woman for an ectopic pregnancy. Documents show that he repeatedly asked her if she was going to have another baby. Three years later, she went to a fertility specialist that informed her both of her fallopian tubes “were burnt down to nubs.” She claimed Perwaiz removed her fallopian tubes without her consent.
The witnesses also included nurses on staff at local hospitals that would repeatedly complain about Perwaiz to their supervisors.
Fortunately, these brave patients and providers came forward with their concerns so prosecutors could bring Perwaiz to justice.