Medtech CEO gets 6 years in prison for fake medical device scheme

by Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | June 24, 2024
Laura Perryman, former CEO of Stimwave, has been sentenced to six years in prison for her role in a healthcare fraud scheme involving the implantation of a fake medical device component into patients and subsequent billing fraud.

Stimwave, a company that manufactures implantable neurostimulation devices, marketed a system called StimQ PNS, designed to treat chronic pain. The system included a lead component and a receiver known as the "Pink Stylet." When physicians reported difficulties implanting the Pink Stylet due to its size, Perryman directed the creation of a dummy component, the "White Stylet," which was falsely marketed as a functional receiver but was actually a nonconductive plastic piece.

By instructing healthcare providers to bill insurance companies, including Medicare, for the implantation of the White Stylet, Perryman facilitated fraudulent claims amounting to approximately $18,000 per procedure. This was part of a broader effort to maintain the profitability of Stimwave's products.

The sentence was announced by Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Perryman was found guilty of healthcare fraud and conspiracy to commit healthcare and wire fraud after a two-week trial overseen by U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote.

“Laura Perryman callously created a dummy medical device component and told doctors to implant it into patients,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “She did this out of greed, so doctors could bill Medicare and private insurance companies approximately $18,000 for each implantation of that dummy component, and so she could entice doctors to buy her device for many thousands of dollars. Perryman breached the trust of the doctors who bought her medical device, and more importantly, the patients who were implanted with that piece of plastic.”

The case was investigated by the FBI, with prosecution handled by the Southern District of New York’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Perryman, 55, of Delray Beach, Florida, was also sentenced to three years of supervised release following her prison term.

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