6 doctors charged in alleged scheme to prey on addicts

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DETROIT (AP) Prosecutors say six doctors have been charged in a scheme that involved millions of opioid drugs and unnecessary medical procedures in southeastern Michigan.

U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider says it's "particularly egregious" for doctors to prey on addicts.

An indictment unsealed Thursday says the doctors prescribed opioids to induce people to visit. The indictment says patients were forced to undergo other treatments. Nearly $500 million was billed to insurers, mostly Medicare and Medicaid.

The alleged ringleader was Dr. Rajendra Bothra, who operated pain clinics in Warren and Eastpointe. He's charged with conspiracy, fraud and other crimes. He was returned to jail to await a detention hearing Friday. His attorney declined to comment.

The Detroit News reports that Bothra in 1999 was honored in India for humanitarian efforts.