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Weinberger sentenced to 84 months in prison

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A judge on Friday rejected former Merrillville "nose doctor" Mark Weinberger’s request to be released from federal prison for time served and instead ordered him to spend almost another four years behind bars for fraud.

Chief Judge Philip Simon of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana in Hammond sentenced Weinberger to seven years in prison for 22 counts of health care benefit fraud to which Weinberger, 49, pleaded guilty. Weinberger already has spent about 37 months in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago.

The sentence exceeded the 37 to 46 months called for in federal sentencing guidelines, but Simon also considered Weinberger’s flight from the country as an enhancement, according to attorneys who were in court for the sentencing. The former ear, nose and throat doctor spent more than five years on the run after malpractice claims against him began to mount.

“I think that the judge considered the most important factor and that is something I’ve been living with for eight or nine years, and that is the mess he left in his wake,” said Cohen & Malad attorney David Cutshaw, who is part of a team of litigators representing 288 Weinberger malpractice clients.

Weinberger also will serve two years of supervised release and was ordered to pay about $108,000 in restitution.

Attorneys representing medical malpractice claims against Weinberger on Tuesday submitted a letter to the court that challenged claims in his sentencing memorandum in which he asked the court to be released for time served, as it fell within sentencing guidelines. The memorandum said “no credible evidence exists to indicate that Dr. Weinberger performed fraud in any other case other than the 22 cases for which he has been indicted and for which he had pled guilty.”

The letter in response said that assertion caused “great concern” because “of the 90 cases we have submitted to medical review panels, including the seven we have tried, we have yet to identify a single case in which Weinberger performed the ethmoid and sphenoid surgeries he billed for.”

Barry Rooth of Theodoros & Rooth P.C. in Merrillville, which also is involved in the bulk of malpractice litigation, said the letter aimed to give voice to victims whose cases weren’t considered in Weinberger’s criminal case.

“Our intent was to provide the prosecutor and the U.S. attorney with additional materials which we believe would increase the economic loss of similarly situated patients to a number that would constitute (sentence) enhancement,” Rooth said before sentencing Friday.

There are more than 350 medical malpractice claims against Weinberger, and his insurer recently won a default judgment against him because he has refused to answer questions in depositions. A federal judge is considering a request from the Indiana Patient Compensation Fund that a special master be appointed to handle the pool of Weinberger claims.

Rooth said patients would like to hear Weinberger at least acknowledge in depositions that he was their doctor, and he has vowed as a condition of his sentencing to answer questions about the cases against him.

“We’d love to hear what he has to say for himself,” Rooth said.
 

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  1. This is easily remedied, and in a fashion that every church sacrificing incense for its 501c3 status and/or graveling for government grants should have no problem with ..... just add this statue, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Capitoline_she-wolf_Musei_Capitolini_MC1181.jpg entitled, "Jesus and Cousin John learn to suckle sustenance from the beloved Nanny State." Heckfire, the ACLU might even help move the statue in place then. And the art will certainly reflect our modern life, given the clergy's full-bellied willingness to accede to every whim of the new caesars. If any balk, just threaten to take away their government milk … they will quiet down straightaway, I assure you. Few, if any of them, are willing to cross the ruling elite as did the real J&J

  2. Tina has left the building.

  3. Is JLAP and its bevy of social "scientists" the cure to every ailment of the modern practitioner? I see no allegations as to substance abuse, but I sure see a judge who has seemingly let power go to her head and who lacks any appreciation for the rule of law. Seems that she needs help in her legal philosophy and judicial restraint, not some group encounter session to affirm she is OK, we are OK. Can’t we lawyers just engage in peer professionalism and even peer pressure anymore? Need we social workers to tell us it is wrong to violate due process? And if we conduct ourselves with the basic respect for the law shown by most social workers .... it that good enough in Indiana? If not, then how is JLAP to help this 2003 law school grad get what her law school evidently failed to teach her? (In addition .... rhetorical question … I have a theory that the LAP model serves as a conduit for governmental grace when the same strict application of the law visited upon the poor and the powerless just will not do. See in the records of this paper ... can the argument be made that many who save their licenses, reputations, salaries by calling upon that font of grace are receiving special treatment? Who tracks the application of said grace to assure that EP and DP standards are fully realized? Does the higher one climbs inside the Beltway bring greater showers of grace? Should such grace be the providence of the government, or the churches and NGO's? Why, we would not want to be found mixing the remnants of our abandoned faith with the highest loyalty to the secularist state, now would we?)

  4. Is JLAP and its bevy of social "scientists" the cure to every ailment of the modern practitioner? I see no allegations as to substance abuse, but I sure see a judge who has seemingly let power go to her head and who lacks any appreciation for the rule of law. Seems that she needs help in her legal philosophy and judicial restraint, not some group encounter session to affirm she is OK, we are OK. Cannot we lawyers not engage in peer professionalism and even pressure anymore? Need we social workers to tell us it is wrong to violate due process? And if we conduct ourselves with the basis respect for the law shown by most social workers .... it that good enough in Indiana?

  5. Judge Baker nails it: "Russell was in a place he did not have a right to be, to take an action he did not have a right to take. Russell neglected to leave that property even after engaging in a heated argument with and being struck with a broom handle by the property owner." AS is noted below ... sad to think that the next shoe to drop will be the thief suing the car owner. That is justice?

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