In Hammond Indiana, a doctor who had been sought by authorities for five years, has finally been convicted in one of the worst patient-billing fraud cases in U.S. history.
Dr. Mark Weinberger of Merrillville was sentenced to seven years in state prison for defrauding patients and insurers, a theft of more than $30,000,000 over a three-year period, according to court records.
Weinberger was finally caught when he was found by Italian authorities living in a tent on a snowy mountainside. He had been hiding from investigators for five years. During that time investigators say Weinberger never contacted his wife, Michelle Kramer, nor any members of his family. He instead settled into a new secret life in the village Courmayeur, Italy with a new girlfriend.
During sentencing, U.S. District Judge Philip Simon said that before Weinberger disappeared, he had operated his medical office like a “factory,” hustling patients as quickly as possible through thousands of procedures, which allowed him to amass nearly a quarter-million dollars per month before he fled the country.
Court records state that Weinberger, now 49, defrauded countless patients, possibly as many as a thousand. And now more than 350 of them are suing him for totally unnecessary sinus operations.
For more on the strange sage of this medical maniac, read investigative reporter Buzz Bissinger’s excellent account of the Weinberger case:
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