The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Laura Perryman, the founder and former CEO of Stimwave, was arrested and charged with healthcare fraud and wire fraud. Perryman is accused of creating and selling nerve stimulation devices with a non-functioning component, made entirely of plastic, which was implanted into chronic pain patients for profit. This alleged scheme resulted in the loss of millions of dollars for federal healthcare programs.
Stimwave, a medical device company based in Florida, admitted wrongdoing in the case and settled with the DOJ for a $10 million penalty and ongoing compliance measures. The DOJ alleged that Perryman’s role in the scheme arose from a technical issue related to an implanted receiver known as the pink stylet. Rather than refund physicians for the unusable devices or lower the cost, Perryman allegedly devised a scheme to develop a white stylet made entirely of plastic, which was just “a dummy component” designed to “serve no medical purpose.” Her goal was to deceive individuals into buying a useless piece of do-nothing plastic, created to fool them and the federal government to increase Stimwave’s revenue.
Physicians unwittingly implanted the non-functional white stylet into patients and submitted fraudulent reimbursement claims to Medicare. As a result, Stimwave must pay $8.6 million to the government, credited toward the $10 million penalty. In addition, the company has agreed to cooperate with the government’s investigation and to abide by ongoing compliance measures for three years.
Representatives from the FBI and FDA joined the DOJ investigation. Stimwave filed for bankruptcy in June 2022 and reached an agreement to sell nearly all of its assets for $40 million. Perryman was fired from her position at Stimwave in 2019, and the civil complaints against her are still pending.
If you’ve been victimized by Stimwave or other products’ fraudulent claims, the attorneys at Kelly Uustal can help.