Editor’s note: This story has been updated from its original version. After publication, more court records were updated in the federal system. Dr. Javaid Perwaiz and his attorneys have requested a judge dismiss additional charges that are filed against him.
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A Chesapeake obstetrician-gynecologist accused of performing unnecessary surgeries on patients has filed motions to dismiss 37 of the federal charges against him, according to court records.
Dr. Javaid Perwaiz was arrested in November 2019 after treating and performing surgeries on patients for more than 30 years in Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Suffolk.
Perwaiz is accused of performing unnecessary surgeries and medical procedures on patients as part of an insurance fraud scheme. He was originally charged with two crimes — health care fraud and making false statements related to health care matters; however, in the months that followed his arrest, federal prosecutors issued two superseding indictments against Perwaiz, bringing the number of charges he will face during his September jury trial to 62.
Prosecutors believe the crimes happened between 2010 and 2019, and they say that the evidence against Perwaiz is “very strong.” Prosecutors 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. Perwaiz is also accused of falsifying sterilization consent forms and scheduling patients for early labor inductions, according to court records.
Perwaiz has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him and is scheduled to have a jury trial on Sept. 29. His attorneys recently filed motions to dismiss 18 of the charges against Perwaiz, including seven counts of health care fraud and 11 counts of making false statements related to health care matters, court records state.
Perwaiz’s attorneys are asking a judge to dismiss 14 charges (7 counts of health care fraud and 7 counts of false statements regarding health care matters) that accuse the OB-GYN of routinely changing the estimated due dates for his pregnant patients and scheduling them for early labor inductions, which can be risky for mother and baby. Prosecutors believe Perwaiz routinely induced mothers early to ensure that the babies were born on days he was already at the hospital so he could file insurance claims for the deliveries, according to court records.
The indictment details seven specific times when prosecutors believe Perwaiz intentionally changed his patient’s due dates and induced them early. Perwaiz’s attorneys argue that even if he did schedule an early inductions, they do not believe prosecutors have established that those actions would constitute health care fraud because the insurance payments would have been the same regardless of when the babies were delivered. His attorneys also argued that prosecutors failed to establish instances of Perwaiz making false statements about estimated due dates that would constitute a criminal act falling under the charge “false statements related to health care matters,” court records state.
“Finally, despite the United States’ allegation that the infants were placed at increased risk
by being induced, the indictment states no claim of how that detail rises to the level of a criminal
offense rather than a civil cause of action. In fact, Defendant has requested the birth records of
each child to make an evaluation of what risks were presented, and the United States attorney
objected to the production of those records, saying that they are irrelevant and inadmissible,” Perwaiz’s attorneys wrote in one motion to dismiss.
The other four criminal charges Perwaiz’s defense attorneys are asking a judge to dismiss allege that he changed altered sterilization consent forms. Prosecutors believer Perwaiz pressured his patients to go through with permanent sterilization procedures, often by lying to them and saying that the procedures were easily reversible. They have accused him of circumventing Medicaid’s 30-day sterilization consent requirements by backdating consent forms so that they appeared to have been signed earlier than they were, according to court records.
These allegations also fall under the charges of false statements related to health care matters. His attorneys argue that the indictment doesn’t explain how a change of dates on sterilization forms would have changed the medical procedures that were performed or how much money Perwaiz would have been paid for performing them. The attorneys also said that Perwaiz isn’t accused of submitting the forms to a government agency, which means that no crime would have been committed, court records state.
A third motion to dismiss was filed in Perwaiz’s case on Monday, according to court documents. This motion requests the dismissal of 26 charges — some of which were also included in two previous motions to dismiss that were filed earlier. These bring the total number of charges they are requesting to be dismissed to 37.
The attorneys wrote that some of Perwaiz’s charges overlap, specifically some of the health care fraud charges and some of the false statements related to health care matters. The attorneys wrote that because the charges overlap they should have been filed together as a single charge, according to court records.
“The United States elected to draft the indictment in such a way that does not allege a broad medical fraud scheme as an initial count, and then individually charging each allegedly false statement. Instead, the indictment … alleges twenty-six separate fraud schemes,” Perwaiz’s attorneys wrote in the motion.
Perwaiz’s attorneys laid out their argument for the dismissal of the charges. They said that the doctor can’t be found guilty of both health care fraud and false statements related to health care, because the latter is a lesser charge that’s required to prove the former.
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