CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A Chesapeake obstetrician-gynecologist accused of performing unnecessary surgeries on patients and filing fraudulent health care claims pleaded not guilty to 11 federal charges on Wednesday morning.
Dr. Javaid Perwaiz was arrested on Nov. 8 and charged with health care fraud and making false statements relating to health care matters. A superseding indictment — or a new set of charges to replace the original allegations — was filed a month later, bringing new allegations against Perwaiz, including two counts of aggravated identity theft.
The Dec. 5 superseding indictment may not be the only time the charges against Perwaiz are changed. His attorney, Lawrence Woodward, Jr., said that prosecutors have told him it is “extremely likely” that another superseding indictment will be filed against Perwaiz in the future. This means the doctor could face more charges.
A motion hearing will be held in federal court on Thursday afternoon, in which a protective order will be filed and a judge will decide if Perwaiz should remain incarcerated at the Western Tidewater Regional Jail until his June 2020 jury trial. A federal judge originally ordered for the doctor’s confinement, citing fear that Perwaiz might be a flight risk. Prosecutors argue that he is a flight risk because of his family ties to his native Pakistan and his financial assets, which include real estate, gold and art, and a retirement account. The defense argues that Perwaiz isn’t a flight risk — he’s an American citizen who hasn’t been to Pakistan since the early 2000s.
Prosecutors will begin phase one of handing over discovery to Perwaiz’s defense attorneys on Thursday too. Federal prosecutor Kathleen Dougherty told a federal judge Wednesday that the case against the OBGYN has “voluminous discovery” that includes hundreds of thousands of documents. These documents include 3,400 patient files that were seized during a search of Perwaiz’s Chesapeake medical practice in October and information from five computer hard drives.
Prosecutors have also issued 31 grand jury subpoenas.