Rajendra Bothra, three other Michigan doctors charged with health care fraud


Four doctors from Michigan, including an Indian American accused of being involved in a prescription drug scheme, were acquitted by a US District Court in Detroit on charges of healthcare fraud, Wednesday.

The ruling came after a six-week trial of Rajendra Botha, Ganiu Edu, Davi Lewis and Christopher Russo. They were originally charged with health care fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.

The attorney had accused the doctors of illegally prescribing more than 13 million pills and making false claims to collect millions of dollars from Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Croll Blue Shield of Michigan between 2013 to 2018.

Two other doctors linked to this case took plea deals and testified at the trial. Dr. Eric Bakos pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and Dr. Ronald Kufner pleaded guilty in October to health care fraud.

Bothra is a licensed physician who controlled, owned, and operated the Pain Center and the Interventional Pain Center in Warren, according to court records. Edu, Lewis, and Russo are licensed, physicians.

Brandy McMillion said the doctors handed out drugs like a ‘McDonald’s drive thru’ and compared the operation to an assembly line.

McMillion said the doctors forced patients suffering back pain to undergo radio frequency ablations on their backs in exchange for drugs and unnecessarily prescribed back braces to patients.

Bothra’s attorney Arthur Weiss said that the four doctors were providing medicine appropriately to patients with back pain.

Weiss said he and his client are “ecstatic” over the verdict but upset that he has been in federal detention for 43 months while awaiting trial. The other defendants were free on personal bonds.

“We’re glad the jury looked at the evidence and made the appropriate decision in a relatively short amount of time,” Weiss said. “Where does he go to reclaim those 43 months?”