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Fake Medical Implant CEO Sentenced to Six Years in Prison

It was just a functionless piece of plastic.

The U.S. Department of Justice has sentenced the former CEO of medical implant company Stimwave to six years in prison.

Laura Perryman was found guilty of heath care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud after a two-week trial. According to prosecutors, Perryman was responsible for her company manufacturing and selling a fake medical device component, which she told doctors they could claim approximately $18,000 for implanting into patients.

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U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said, “Perryman callously created a dummy medical device component and told doctors to implant it into patients. She did this out of greed, so doctors could bill Medicare and private insurance companies…She breached the trust of the doctors who bought her medical device, and more importantly, the patients who were implanted with that piece of plastic.”

Stimwave’s StimQ PNS System was marketed as a neurostimulation device for treating chronic pain. Perryman was directly involved in the production process for the implant, a device that included electrodes and a receiver for sending energy from an external power source to a component the company called the “Pink Stylet.”

Physicians told Stimwave it was difficult to implant the Pink Stylet in some patients because it was too long, according to the DOJ. Perryman apparently knew the Pink Stylet couldn’t be resized without damaging the receiver, but instead of working on a legitimate replacement, the company made the White Stylet, a functionless piece of plastic that could be cut to size.

The DOJ said Perryman, despite knowing the White Stylet was a useless hunk of plastic, oversaw doctor trainings for the implant and got Stimwave employees to vouch for the White Stylet.

Perryman resigned as CEO in 2019 and Stimwave eventually initiated a voluntary recall for all its PNS Devices in 2020. In 2022, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and sold most of its assets.

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