Fugitive Nose Doctor Case Postponed Again

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Merrillvile Police

    Former Merrillville nose doctor and fugitive Mark Weinberger will wait another month before finding out if a federal judge will accept his plea bargain.

    Weinberger's hearing was recently changed to Feb. 24, instead of taking place Wednesday, according to court records.

    Weinberger pleaded guilty in October to 22 counts of health care fraud, in connection to charges claiming he never actually performed nose surgeries on his patients he claimed to and for which he then billed Medicaid.

    The case has gone on for six years now, after Weinberger fled the country in 2004 when patients started to file complaints against him. Federal charges followed in 2006, but the case was put on hold until a year ago when Italian police found him camping out near the country's northern border.

    The plea agreement, if U.S. District Judge Philip Simon accepts it, would force the court to sentence Weinberger to four years in prison. Simon said he would wait until the sentencing hearing until deciding whether he would accept it.