CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A criminal trial involving a Chesapeake obstetrician-gynecologist accused of performing unnecessary surgeries on patients as part of a health care fraud scheme will be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Javaid Perwaiz was scheduled to have a jury trial on June 2; however, that date was terminated on April 16 due to the “outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019,” according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
Perwaiz is charged with:
- One count of health care fraud-criminal forfeiture
- Four counts of health care fraud
- Four counts of false statements related to health care matters
- Two counts of aggravated identity theft.
Perwaiz is accused of conducting a “health care fraud scheme” that spanned at least 10 years — from January 2010 until Nov. 8, 2019, when he was arrested, according to the federal complaint against him.
He is accused of submitting false or fraudulent insurance claims to several health care providers. The false or fraudulent insurance claims were allegedly for several types of medical procedures and gynecological surgeries, including colposcopies and hysterectomies. Authorities believe Perwaiz wrote symptoms and complaints that patients didn’t have into their medical records to justify the surgeries to insurance providers, according to the federal complaint against him.
He is also accused of stealing the identities of two of his patients. Authorities believe he used the Medicaid identification of one patient on March 18, 2016, and the social security number of another patient on Oct. 19, 2019, while allegedly committing health care fraud, according to the federal complaint.
Authorities believe Perwaiz “aggressively” encouraged patients to undergo surgeries by saying they would develop cancer if they did not have certain procedures done. He claimed to perform diagnostic procedures in his office and used the “results of those examinations to justify that a patient undergo surgery very quickly — at times as little as three days later,” the federal criminal complaint states.
Prosecutors have called the weight of evidence against Perwaiz “very strong.” Authorities have interviewed current and former patients, reviewed Medicaid insurance claims, and obtained a recorded phone call between Perwaiz and a patient who was reconsidering a surgery, in which he told her she had “tumors” and that the procedure was necessary, according to federal court records.
Perwaiz has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him. His trial will be rescheduled at a later date.
In February, defense attorneys representing Perwaiz were informed that federal prosecutors intend to file a second superseding indictment against the doctor. Court documents originally said the indictment would be filed in early April and would include “additional charges and alleged victims.” A second superseding indictment has not been filed to date.
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