CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Newly-filed court documents shed light on the evidence prosecutors have against a Chesapeake obstetrician-gynecologist accused of performing unnecessary surgeries on patients and filing fraudulent health care claims.
Prosecutors called the weight of evidence against Dr. Javaid Perwaiz “very strong” in a document filed in the United States District Court Eastern District Court of Virginia on Dec. 9. Perwaiz was arrested in November and charged with health care fraud and false statements related to health care matters. The case filed against Perwaiz in November was closed on Dec. 5 and a new case was opened, charging the OBGYN with 11 federal crimes, including aggravated identity theft.
Perwaix pleaded not guilty to the charges on December 18 in federal court.
The Dec. 9 filing was an oppositional response by prosecutors to a Nov. 25 request filed by Perwaiz’s attorneys. In that request, the attorneys argued that Perwaiz is not a flight risk and that a federal judge should release him from the Western Tidewater Regional Jail while he awaits trial.
Prosecutors argued for Perwaiz’s continued detention in the jail, citing reasons they believe he is a flight risk. Prosecutors said that although Perwaiz is an American citizen, he immigrated from Pakistan and has “strong” family ties there. He also earned his medical degree in Pakistan and could potentially work there if he fled the United States, according to federal court documents.
Prosecutors also pointed to Perwaiz’s financial resources, which include $40,000 spread between three bank accounts, five luxury cars, three pieces of real estate, $200,000 in gold and art, and “significant assets” in a retirement account, court documents state.
“As detailed in the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, and echoed in the indictment returned last week, Dr. Perwaiz has been charged with perpetrating a long-running health care fraud scheme in which he performed unnecessary gynecological procedures, including surgeries, on women,” prosecutors wrote. “He abused his position of trust, and his medical training, for his own financial gain and to the severe detriment of many of his patients. The underlying facts of the case are ‘deeply disturbing and give rise to a strong motive to flee.'”
Prosecutors also went into some detail about the evidence against Perwaiz, citing:
- More than 50 interviews with his current and former patients
- Reviews of Medicaid insurance claims
- Medical equipment maintenance records “used to justify” surgeries
- Reviews of patient files
- A voluntary interview between authorities and Perwaiz
- 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
Prosecutors also revealed that their investigative team has obtained documents regarding a July 2012 review of Perwaiz conducted by an unnamed health care benefit program that he filed claims with after performing gynecological surgeries and procedures, court documents show.
The unnamed health care benefit program initiated the review in 2012 because it had a “long-standing concern that he [Perwaiz] was overutilizing certain procedures and taking an overly aggressive approach in treating his patients.” Program officials did a random audit of patient records and then “resolved the matter” by having a discussion with Perwaiz about using more “conservative” methods to treat his patients, court documents state.
“This review provides additional support to the already strong evidence that the defendant has engaged in a long-running scheme to perform unnecessary procedures on his patients,” prosecutors wrote.
Prosecutors also revealed that they’ve found additional dates of birth Perwaiz allegedly used while conducting business with a financial services company and at his Chesapeake medical practice, according to court documents.
The question of Perwaiz’s date of birth came after authorities searched his Chesapeake office in October and found a document — which they believe he wrote — directing staff to use a false date of birth for official, business, and legal matters. Altogether, authorities believe Perwaiz used at least four different dates of birth for different purposes, court documents allege.