Rajendra Bothra, an Indian-origin doctor, and three other physicians were acquitted of federal allegations that they operated a Warren-based prescription drug mill on Thursday morning.
Dr Bothra the prime accused along with Ganiu Edu, Davi Lewis and Christopher Russo were found not guilty by a jury.
The verdict followed a six-week trial in front of Judge Stephen Murphy in US District Court in Detroit.
Dr Bothra's attorney, Arthur 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.
The Indian government awarded Dr Bothra the Padma Shri in 1999.
He owned and operated The Pain Center, based in Warren and with other locations, including in Eastpointe, and employed the other doctors.
The group was collectively charged with over 50 counts, with each of them facing one count each of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, mostly the opioid Norco, and conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
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US attorneys charged the accused doctors of illicitly prescribing over 13 million pills and making false claims to illegally collect over $20 million from Medicare, over $17 million from Medicaid and over $15 million from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, from 2013 to 2018.