Javaid Perwaiz, a Virginia-based obstetrician-gynecologist from Pakistan, was arrested Nov. 8 on charges involving health care fraud committed by allegedly performing medically unnecessary surgeries on women to collect insurance payments.
Perwaiz, 69, of Chesapeake, is being held without bond in Suffolk, Virginia after his hearing on Nov. 14. If convicted on the current charges, Perwaiz faces up to 20 years in prison.
According to news reports, Perwaiz allegedly performed 510 surgeries on Medicaid patients from January 2014 through August 2018, far exceeding such surgeries performed by any other provider in Virginia.
Assistant U.S. Attorney V. Kathleen Dougherty said the number of former patients with complaints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation has increased to 173, and agents have interviewed 36 women as of Nov. 14.
“He basically stole. He used his patients to get wealthy,” said Tabitha Johnson, a Medicaid patient, according to a wavy.com report. She said Perwaiz performed procedures she did not want or need.
According to prosecutors, Perwaiz has used two different dates of birth and was convicted of lying to the Internal Revenue Service in 1996.
He is believed to be 69 years old. The prosecutors also mentioned current assets belonging to Perwaiz including $1.3 million in homes, five luxury cars such as a Bentley and $200,000 worth of gold and rare art.
Perwaiz, who has been practicing medicine in Chesapeake, Va., since the 1980s, built his practice on an “extensive scheme” that included falsifying medical charts to justify medically unnecessary surgical procedures — including hysterectomies, dilation and curettages, and the removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes — to defraud Medicaid and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employee Program, according to an Washington Post report quoting prosecutors.
The report said that many patients have described Perwaiz with fondness, complimenting his bedside manner and claiming they trusted him. But court documents describe a pattern of behavior the doctor allegedly used to persuade his patients, including using the threat of cancer as a scare tactic and telling women they needed “annual cleanouts” to remove fibroids or cysts that might not have existed. His lawyer Lawrence Woodward did not respond to Post’s request for comments.
Perwaiz, who has a brother and sister in his native Pakistan, has come under intense scrutiny throughout his decades-long career. In 1983, he lost hospital privileges at Maryview Hospital in Portsmouth, Va. due to “poor clinical judgment and for performing unnecessary surgeries,” according to court documents.
News reports said dozens of Perwaiz’s former patients were now questioning years of treatment by Perwaiz, and whether certain surgeries were necessary. They described rushing to schedule appointments with new doctors to examine whether Perwaiz performed procedures without their knowledge.
Two former patients of the doctor who have contacted an attorney said they’re not surprised by the charges. “If you spread good karma, you get good karma,” said Michala Rudolph, who questions her care by Perwaiz during her pregnancy with her daughter, who was born at just 21 weeks. “You’ll get what’s coming to you if you deserve it,” she was quoted as saying by Heavy.com