CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A Chesapeake obstetrician-gynecologist accused of profiting from performing unnecessary surgeries on women and submitting false insurance claims will go to trial on Sept. 29, a federal judge has decided.
The judge also ruled that the date fits within speedy trial requirements, despite his trial — scheduled originally for June and then rescheduled for Sept. 2 — being pushed back because of the coronavirus.
Dr. Javaid Perwaiz’s jury trial is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. Sept. 29. He previously pleaded not guilty on June 23 to a slew of charges levied against him by federal prosecutors in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
A defense attorney for Perwaiz filed a motion July 5 asking that his client’s trial happen within the 70-day period for a speedy trial.
Perwaiz was originally arrested in November 2019 and charged with health care fraud and false statements related to health care matters. In the months that followed, two superseding indictments were filed against Perwaiz, which increased the number of charges against him.
The defense’s motion came after Perwaiz was indicted on 53 additional charges June 19, bringing him to a total of 62 charges, including one count of healthcare fraud — criminal forfeiture, 25 counts of health care fraud, 33 counts of making false statements related to health care matters, and four counts of aggravated identity theft.
Perwaiz is accused of orchestrating a healthcare fraud scheme that spanned a decade. Prosecutors believe he performed procedures that weren’t medically necessary, sometimes telling women they had cancer or would develop the disease if they didn’t have surgery. Perwaiz allegedly made money by submitting false insurance claims and justifying procedures by falsifying patient statements and diagnoses, according to federal court documents.
Perwaiz is also accused of billing insurance companies for diagnostic procedures he didn’t actually perform, and using those alleged findings to justify other medical procedures and surgeries. He’s also accused of scheduling patients for early labor inductions to make sure babies were delivered on days he was already working at the hospital so he could file insurance claims for the deliveries.
His defense attorney filed the motion July 5 in an effort to ensure his client’s right to a speedy trial was respected, despite impacts from the coronavirus. Courts will not resume jury trials until at least mid-September, further pushing back a second trial date for Perwaiz that was scheduled for Sept. 2.
In an opinion issued by the judge Wednesday, however, set the end of that 70-day period on Sept. 30, the day after Perwaiz’s new trial date.
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Under the Speedy Trial Act, trials are to begin within 70 days of an indictment or a defendant’s first appearance in court unless a defendant waives their right. This timeline can be paused when pretrial motions are filed, which is what happened in Perwaiz’s case.
In her decision on the case, Judge Rebecca Smith decided that although Perwaiz was indicted in late June, his speedy trial clock did not start ticking until late July, moving his trial date back by nearly a month.