Several of the obstetrician-gynecologist’s former patients testified that he performed procedures and surgeries they did not need — and that in some cases left them with permanent physical damage — so that he could collect their insurance money.
Prosecutors said he gave his patients unnecessary, irreversible hysterectomies; improper sterilizations; and other procedures, including regular dilation and curettages that he called “annual cleanouts.”
Perwaiz’s attorneys could not be reached for comment, but in a sentencing memo they said he “maintains that he is not guilty.”
Perwaiz, who practiced medicine in the Hampton Roads region for nearly four decades, was arrested in the fall of 2019 after an FBI investigation found that he had been carrying out a health-care scheme since at least 2010. The doctor would perform diagnostic procedures with broken equipment, prosecutors said, and scare patients into surgery by telling them they had cancer when they did not.
Prosecutors said Perwaiz used the money to buy high-end cars and other luxury items.
“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,” acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Raj Parekh said in a statement. “These fraudulent and destructive surgeries caused irreversible damage to the victims.”
Before his arrest, Perwaiz had admitting privileges at Bon Secours Maryview Medical Center and Chesapeake Regional Medical Center. He also had two private practice offices in Chesapeake.
Once the FBI investigation became public, dozens of Perwaiz’s patients began questioning the care they had received from the doctor they and their families had trusted for generations. As prosecutors accused him of health-care fraud in his current medical practice, other information about his past wrongdoing also surfaced.
In the 1990s, the women learned, Perwaiz had been convicted of felony tax fraud. Before that, in his earliest years as a doctor, he had been disciplined by the Virginia Board of Medicine, which chastised him for bad note-taking after a hospital fired him for allegedly performing 11 hysterectomies without medical reasons.
Hundreds of women requested their medical records from law enforcement after Perwaiz’s arrest. Some told The Washington Post they sought second opinions from new physicians, who contradicted the medical information Perwaiz had told them about their own bodies.
During his trial, Perwaiz defended himself and his long career in medicine. He admitted to altering patient files, but said he did so for the health of the patient, not for the money.
“I am an advocate for my patients,” he said during his testimony.
In court documents, 29 patients were listed as directly related to the criminal case against Perwaiz. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said more than 60 women submitted victim impact statements.
Samantha Schmidt contributed to this report.