Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered all manufacturers of transvaginal mesh to stop manufacturing and selling the implants. The implants are used to treat conditions such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. Unfortunately, for many women who received the implants, no relief came. Instead, they found themselves suffering from pain, organ perforation, painful intercourse, and incontinence. Even worse, many of the women find that removing the mesh is impossible or may take many surgeries. Though Johnson & Johnson and other manufacturers have stopped selling the mesh, as Reuters reports, other people are still trying to take advantage.
On Friday, authorities arrested a doctor and a surgical funding consultant. The two were charged with defrauding women into having unnecessary surgeries to remove the vaginal mesh. Their intention was to profit from the settlements that the women would get from the manufacturers.
49-year-old urogynecologist Christopher Walker and 49-year-old Wesley Barber were both charged with wire fraud and conspiracy in federal court in Brooklyn.
Prosecutors allege that Barber and Walker persuaded women to have their mesh implants removed, often lying to them about the health risks that the implants posed. They would fund the surgeries through Barber’s company at exorbitant interest rates and allow the women to pay when they received the settlement. However, the women were left on the hook even if they did not receive a settlement.
Walker paid kickbacks and bribes to Barber for referrals to perform the surgeries.
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