CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Former Chesapeake obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Javaid Perwaiz was sentenced to 59 years in prison after he was convicted of performing unnecessary surgeries and procedures on unsuspecting women as part of a healthcare fraud scheme.
Perwaiz, the subject of WAVY’s in-depth series “The Patients v. Perwaiz,” was sentenced on Tuesday.
He was convicted on 52 counts of health care fraud and false statements during a trial in November.
He faced up to 475 years in prison for his crimes, but prosecutors had requested 50 years.
They believed the 50-year sentence would be fair and would send a clear message to other healthcare providers in Virginia: That they will be held accountable for violating the law — and patients’ trust.
“Justice is done and whatever he gets in prison now, he deserves,” said former patient Anita Fuller.
This day in court Tuesday was just important for Perwaiz’ former patients as it was for the doctor himself.
“He just deserved everything that he got and I have problems now from my surgery,” added former patient Wilma White.
Perwaiz spent 40 years practicing in Hampton Roads. In November, he was convicted of doing unnecessary surgeries simply to line his own pockets. He filed false insurance claims and made millions of dollars.
The U.S. Department of Justice said he falsified records so that he could induce labor early, before the recommended gestational age, to ensure he would be reimbursed for the deliveries.
“I do take comfort that he’s not able to hurt any other women,” said former patient Fredrika Winborne.
Judge Rebecca Smith said she couldn’t imagine anything more serious than performing these surgeries. She heard several of his former victims explain their pain and read 63 victim impact statements.
“This can not be tolerated from our licensed professionals,” said Smith. “This an overwhelming amount of fraud at every point. It was done for greed and to enhance your lavish lifestyle and you have shown no remorse.”
The 71-year-old OB-GYN will also have to pay back $20.8 million to private and government insurance companies.
“I feel like justice was definitely served and 59 years is definitely fitting, because it doesn’t seem like he is going to be around for much longer anyway,” added former patient Ladajea Garris.
“It was terrible,” added former patient Sonya Medlin. “I wanted to see some remorse.”
“He doesn’t care about any of us,” Fuller said. “It was all about greed, money and a lavish lifestyle. That’s all he ever wanted.”
Perwaiz didn’t say anything during Tuesday’s hearing.
“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,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Despite having to endure immeasurable physical and emotional pain, the victims showed resilience, strength, and courage by speaking out and sharing their stories to hold the defendant accountable for his heinous crimes.”
Prosecutors worked for more than two years on this case. They said on Tuesday, justice was done.
“Today’s sentence ensures that the victims and not him have the final word,” Parekh added.
Perwaiz officially filed a notice to appeal the conviction on May 21.
“Justice was served today and whether he is sorry or not I’m going to move forward,” Garris said.
10 On Your Side investigators spent more than a year digging into Perwaiz’s 40-year career in Hampton Roads. We interviewed nearly two dozen former patients and coworkers who detailed red flags that popped up throughout the decades before Perwaiz was arrested.
Our exclusive 10-part investigation, “The Patients v. Perwaiz,” can be found here.