"Nose Doc" Pleads Not Guilty, Waives Pre-Trial Hearing

Mark Weinberger faces 400 years in jail

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    With his hands cuffed and his ankled shacked, Dr. Mark Weinberger on Thursday entered a not guilty plea and gave up his right to a detention hearing.

    The 46-year-old former Northwest Indiana doctor skipped town five years ago and faces 22 counts of fraud that could land him 400 years behind bars.

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    Public defender Adam Tavitas says defending Mark Weinberger is going to be "daunting." (Published Thursday, Mar 4, 2010)

    Along with the criminal charges are more than 300 civil suits that have been filed against him.

    Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry asked Weinberger -- again dressed in an orange Porter County Jail uniform -- why he wanted to waive his speedy trial rights.

    "It allows us more time to review medical records," he said, according to the Northwest Indiana Times.

    Weinberger is being represented by public defender Adam Tavitas, who said his client understands that the case is "daunting."

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    Mark Weinberger allegedly treated Peggy Hood's sister for sinus problems, but failed to discover her advanced throat cancer -- a delay that cost her life. (Published Thursday, Dec 17, 2009)

    Only one former patient attended Thursday's hearing. The patient refused to identify himself but said that his "sinuses have never been the same" since he was treated by Weinberger.

    No trial date has been set. Prosecutors and defense both agree that the case is "complex" and could take some time to schedule.

    Weinberger was discovered hiding in the Italian Alps in December. He was extradited back to the United States over the weekend.