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Ind. doctor nabbed in Italy gets 7 years in prison

HAMMOND, Ind. — A former Indiana surgeon arrested on a snowy Italian mountainside after five years on the run was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday for billing insurers and patients for procedures he didn’t perform.

A federal judge imposed a more severe sentence than expected against Mark Weinberger, who ran a Merrillville nose and sinus clinic until he disappeared during a European vacation shortly before he was charged.

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US District Judge Philip Simon noted that by running from his problems, Weinberger hurt his clinic’s 40 workers and hundreds of patients who couldn’t access their medical records after he fled.

‘‘I am very certain he knew at the time his world was collapsing around him,’’ Simon said. ‘‘Instead of addressing this collapsing, he fled from it.’’

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