Alleged ringleader in opioid scheme jailed without bond

DETROIT (AP) — A judge has refused to grant bond to a 77-year-old Detroit-area doctor who is charged with being at the center of a multimillion-dollar scheme to peddle opioids and bill insurance providers for unnecessary treatments.

A federal magistrate judge says Dr. Rajendra Bothra, a native of India, might flee the country if released.

An indictment unsealed last week says Bothra and five other 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.

Bothra operated pain clinics in Warren and Eastpointe. He’s charged with conspiracy, fraud and other crimes.

Defense attorney Thomas Cranmer is appealing the decision to keep Bothra detained. He says Bothra can be monitored with an electronic tether.