The head of a former neurostimulator company has been charged with manufacturing and selling a counterfeit medical component that was implanted in patients to defraud insurers.
Laura Perryman headed the Florida company Stimwave LLC, which sold waste pieces of plastic implanted in chronic pain patients under the guise of electronic receivers.
According to the Department of Justice, “dummy” device components Endangered the health of patients and defrauded insurers of millions of dollars,
Stimwave admitted wrongdoing and entered into a non-prosecution agreement last October, the details of which were undisclosed last week. The company – which filed for bankruptcy in June – was fined $10 million and agreed to fulfill compliance commitments for three years.
The US Attorney for the Southern District of New York said in a statement that Perryman was unknowingly forcing doctors to bill Medicare and private insurers more than $16,000 for each counterfeit implant.
Perryman, 54, of Delray Beach, Florida, who founded StimWave in 2010 to create a non-opioid alternative for people with chronic pain, was arrested last week.
He is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and health care fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and one count of healthcare fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said in a statement last week Thursday:
“Ms. Perryman, as chief executive officer of StimWave, allegedly led a scheme to sell medical devices that contained a non-functioning component that doctors unknowingly implanted into patients suffering from chronic pain.
“As a result of her illegal actions, not only did patients undergo unnecessary transplant procedures, but Medicare was defrauded of millions of dollars.
“Today’s action demonstrates the FBI’s continued commitment to protecting Medicare and other government programs from financial fraud and abuse.”
The neurostimulator device was known as the StimQ PNS System.
The dummy component, a fake receiver known as the White Stylet, was surgically implanted but did not function.
To perpetuate the lie that the White Stylet was functional, Perryman oversaw training that suggested to doctors that the White Stylet was a “receiver”, when, in fact, it was made entirely of plastic, with no copper in it. was, and therefore had no conductivity.
According to Justice, the White stylet was included with the device to make the product financially viable for doctors to purchase.
A civil fraud lawsuit has also been filed against the company.
The ICIJ has sought comment from Stimwave.
In the last investigation, transplant filesICIJ reveals how health officials failed to protect millions of patients from poorly tested transplants.
ICIJ has also documented Increase in non-prosecution agreements Which allows companies to pay to settle cases.