Wheeling, West Virginia – Two Indian Americans were found not guilty of drug charges, United States Attorney Bill Powell announced recently, but Powell disagreed with the verdict. After an eight-day trial, Dr. Krishan Kumar Aggarwal, of Moon Township, Pennsylvania, and Dr. Cherian John, of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, were acquitted but Powell said, “The jury returned not guilty verdicts against Dr. Aggarwal and Dr. John. Notwithstanding the verdict, we remain steadfast in our intention to prosecute matters which we believe, based upon the evidence, support prosecution.”
Powell further noted, “Jury trials are an adversarial process and do not provide guaranteed results. Though we disagree with the jury in this case, the jury has spoken and that is part of the process, which we have the utmost respect for.”
“Our team worked very hard and this verdict will not deter our efforts on the opioid front,” concluded Powell.
A federal jury deliberated for nearly eight hours before finding Aggarwal, age 75, and John, age 66, not guilty of one count of “Conspiracy to Distribute Controlled Substances Outside the Bounds of Professional Medical Practice,” and were also indicted on separate counts of “Aiding and Abetting Health Care Fraud,” and “Aiding and Abetting the Distribution of Controlled Substances Outside the Bounds of Professional Medical Practice.”
Aggarwal and John were accused of contracting with Redirections Treatment Advocates, LLC, in Weirton, West Virginia, and writing illegitimate prescriptions for suboxone, some of which were paid for by Medicaid and Medicare.
Assistant US Attorneys Sarah E. Wagner and Andrew R. Cogar prosecuted the cases on behalf of the government. The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Inspector General at the US Department of Health and Human Services investigated the cases. Senior US District Judge Frederick P. Stamp, Jr. presided.