ILNews

Weinberger seeks sentence of time served

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Former Merrillville ear, nose and throat doctor Mark Weinberger on Monday asked a federal court to sentence him to time served for the 22 counts of health care fraud to which he pleaded guilty.

Chief Judge Philip Simon of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana in Hammond will sentence Weinberger on Friday. In a sentencing memorandum filed Monday, Weinberger’s attorney Visvaldis Kupsis said the sentencing guideline range is 30 to 37 months in prison. Weinberger already has served more than 33 months, and adjusted for good behavior, he’s earned credit for 39 months served, Kupsis wrote.

Previously, Weinberger pleaded guilty to the charges and agreed to serve a four-year sentence. A federal judge rejected that plea agreement as too lenient.

Weinberger, who ran a multi-million-dollar practice billing himself as “The Nose Doctor,” was arrested in December 2009 after authorities found him camped in snow in the Italian Alps. He fled as malpractice claims mounted and had been on the run for more than three years, during which he was charged.

Separately, Weinberger also is a defendant in lawsuits involving more than 350 medical malpractice claims that allege he performed unnecessary and sometimes damaging sinus surgeries.

The sentencing memorandum says there’s no evidence that Weinberger committed fraud other than in the instances for which he was charged, and it casts doubt on other claims against him.

“Much has been made in the press regarding Dr. Weinberger’s case and his notoriety exceeds that of most criminal defendants. Numerous civil complaints have been filed and one could speculate that many of those are a direct result of that notoriety,” Kupsis wrote. “Regardless, Dr. Weinberger has also been punished for any incidence of negligence through monetary judgments, as well as his loss of practice and inability to further engage in the trade for which he was trained. As a result, these alleged deeds carry their own form of punishment and should not be for the court to decide in this criminal forum.”

Last month, U.S. Judge Jon E. DeGuilio in Hammond entered a default judgment against Weinberger and related entities for noncooperation in the medical malpractice litigation.

Weinberger’s medical malpractice carrier, the Medical Assurance Company Inc., sought discovery sanctions against Weinberger for his constant refusal to answer questions during deposition. Weinberger repeatedly asserted the Fifth Amendment to all 344 questions, including those about his background and education. After a warning in 2011 from the court that refusal to provide substantive responses would result in severe sanctions, Weinberger and defendants said they would cooperate. However, the defendants continued to assert the Fifth Amendment to the amended discovery responses. The defendants claimed they would answer questions after Weinberger’s criminal trial wrapped up.

In his sentencing memorandum, Kupsis writes that Weinberger worked his way up from kitchen orderly to cook at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago. The document also shed light on Weinberger’s life behind bars.

“Weinberger has taken some pride in being able to continuously hold down a job which subjects itself to the potential for derision from inmates as well as presents a challenge to prepare satisfactory meals with limited resources and time. His responsibilities include organizing and serving every meal … to the eighty-eight (88) fellow inmates in his unit.

Kupsis characterized Weinberger’s kitchen orderly duty as one that “must have been a humiliating situation for him.”

The memorandum also says Weinberger has tutored inmates studying for GEDs and introduced  a yoga program. He also “developed a curriculum through the religious services program which teaches philosophies of non-violence and alternative solutions to problems.”





 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  2. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

ADVERTISEMENT