Indian-American physician in Detroit acquitted of charges, free after 43 months


Dr. Rajendra Bothra, 80, a Detroit physician and highly regarded philanthropist, was acquitted of all charges by a federal jury and walked out of prison June 29, 2022, after spending 43 months of incarceration wrongfully accused of being a ‘pill pusher’ by prosecutors.

An interventional pain physician, Dr. Bothra who once worked with late Mother Theresa and is the recipient of India’s Padma Shri award (1999), was set free when the jury found him not guilty of the charges which included running a $500 million opioid scheme from his clinics in Macomb County, Michigan.

Dr. Bothra along with three other doctors was absolved of all charges and went home  after stopping first at a McDonalds, a Detroit Free Press report said June 30.

“He was in tears at the verdict,” Bothra’s attorney Art Weiss is quoted saying in the Free Press report. “He’s still in a state of shock. He lost three and-a-half years of his life unnecessarily.” Weiss added.

During his incarceration, Dr. Bothra appealed nine times to be released on bond but lost those appeals because prosecutors were able to convince the jury that he was a flight risk.

But Bothra’s attorney succeeded in convincing the jury that his client was a highly regarded specialist and that every single procedure with each patient was fully recorded and legitimate. He also showcased his client’s philanthropic work with the poor and the sick in India and elsewhere.

The seven-week trial ended with the jury delivering its not-guilty verdict after 3 days of deliberations, Detroit Free Press said. Other physicians freed in the same case include Dr. Ganiu Edu of Southfield, Dr. Favid Lewis of Detroit, and Dr. Christopher Russo of Birmingham.



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