NORFOLK, Va. - It is day nine of the federal trial for Dr. Javaid Perwaiz, a Chesapeake OBGYN facing 61 charges for allegedly performing dozens of unnecessary surgeries and labor inductions as part of a health insurance fraud scheme over a 10-year period.
The gynecologist is accused of performing the operations over a nine-year period in Suffolk, Portsmouth and Chesapeake.
Perwaiz is also accused of falsifying sterilization consent forms and inducing early labor. He faces more than 60 federal charges after his arrest in November 2019.
They include 26 counts of health care fraud, 33 counts of making false statements relating to healthcare matters and three counts of aggravated identity theft.
The first witness on the stand Monday was a patient of South Korean descent who went to Dr. Perwaiz for more than 15 years.
She saw him first in 2006 when she was in her early 40s for an abnormal pap smear. She testified to the jury she had five surgeries between 2006 and 2015. She said she never had any complaints.
In 2006, she was told by Perwaiz that she had a lump growing in her pelvic region, so she was told it was necessary to have a laproscopy to remove.
She claims each time she went back for a check-up, the doctor told her lumps were growing back, but she had no complaints even though they were written on her chart. Four more surgeries were performed and eventually she got a hysterectomy as Perwaiz said she would get cancer.
She claimed on the stand she didn’t know what a hysterectomy was since she spoke very little English. The defense attorneys challenged her, stating she has lived here for 30 years and English is the only language she speaks at home.
The second witness was another patient who went to Dr. Perwaiz for an abnormal pap and vaginal bleeding. She told the jury she was told that Perwaiz would use a use a scope to look for abnormal cells to see what was wrong. She was shown the device in court and claimed it was never used on her.
She went on to say that after using the device, Dr. Perwaiz told her he saw "lots of cancer cells growing inside of her," and that she needed a hysterectomy. However, the lab report shown in court - but never to the patient - showed everything found in surgery was benign.
The woman, who is in her late 50s, said she now cannot hold her urine and still bleeds from her vagina.
The defense asked why she didn’t complain before the FBI contacted her after Perwaiz’s arrest. She said she did go back to Perwaiz to confront him after the surgery, and she said that's when he became angry.
Also on the stand Monday was Dr. Paul Moncla, an OBGYN who often works at Chesapeake General Hospital, where Perwaiz would perform surgeries or inductions. Dr. Moncla described observing what he called "a cluster of surgeries and inductions" on Saturdays, which was not typical for physicians.
Dr. Moncla said after seeing Perwaiz’s arrest on the news in early November, he contacted the FBI about some suspicions he was having.
The defense asked Dr. Moncla why he didn’t contact authorities if he was having concerns prior to seeing Perwaiz in the media and asked if he had ever heard of complications with his deliveries; he replied, "No."
This trial is expected to last two more weeks.