Ex-CEO charged in 'dummy' chronic pain device scheme

Federal investigators indicted the former CEO of a medical device company on March 9 in connection to a scheme that involved creating and selling a "non-functioning dummy" device that was implanted in patients with chronic pain, according to the Justice Department. 

Laura Perryman, 54, founded Pompano Beach, Fla.-based Stimwave in 2010 originally as a business to offer non-opioid alternatives to chronic pain management. From about 2017 to 2019, Ms. Perryman was allegedly part of a yearslong scheme to design, make and market a non-functioning component of a neurostimulator medical device. 

The $16,000 product targeted peripheral nerves outside the spinal cord, but the dummy part was included in the device in or about 2020 so the device would be "financially viable for doctors to purchase," the Justice Department said. 

Originally, the pain management device had a pink stylet, which physicians struggled to comfortably fit, so Stimwave released the white stylet, the non-functioning component. 

Ms. Perryman of Delray Beach, Fla., was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of healthcare fraud. She faces up to 20 years in prison for the scheme. Stimwave, which went bankrupt in June, accepted responsibility and agreed to pay $8.6 million to the U.S.

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