Ind. doctor nabbed in Italy gets 7 years in prison
HAMMOND, Ind. – A former Indiana surgeon arrested on a snowy Italian mountainside after five years on the run was handed a stiff prison term Friday for billing insurers and patients for procedures he didn't perform, with the federal judge saying he used patients like an ATM machine.
Mark Weinberger was given a seven-year prison term, nearly double the recommendation under federal sentencing guidelines. U.S. District Judge Philip Simon said the more severe sentence was necessary because Weinberger – who disappeared just before he was charged – left a web of lawsuits, 401(k) problems for his 40 employees and health issues for patients at his nose and sinus clinic.
"The fallout from this is enormous," the judge said, noting that hundreds of patients couldn't access their medical records after Weinberger fled while vacationing in Greece.
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