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Indiana's Most Wanted Doctor Found in Italian Alps

By Amy Perry in News on Dec 18, 2009 5:40PM

Photo via America's Most Wanted
For five years the FBI has been searching for Dr. Mark Weinberger, a 46-year-old ear, nose and throat specialist from Merrillville, Ind. wanted for 22 counts of health care fraud. This week he was found living in a tent on the southern slopes of Mont Blanc surviving in freezing weather on dried and tinned food and snow he melted on a portable stove. During his arrest, he attempted to slit his throat but officers managed to stop him and he is now in an Italian hospital.

According to the Sun-Times, his extravagant behavior in the small Italian town of Aosta made authorities suspicious and eventually led to his capture. America’s Most Wanted details his lavish lifestyle, earning $200,000 a week, taking a limo to work, employing several personal assistants and vacationing for 10 days every month in Europe before trouble began in June 2004, when a patient Weinberger misdiagnosed discovered she was dying of throat cancer and filed a malpractice suit. As more malpractice suits piled up, he planned his escaped during his wife’s 30th birthday party in the Greek islands. Since his disappearance thousands of patients have come forward; attorney David Cutshaw of Indianapolis said he promised patients modern sinus surgeries that typically last at least two hours but instead performed outdated procedures lasting as little as 24 minutes.

US authorities have 40 days in which to apply for his extradition and proceedings to extradite Weinberger could take a year or more. If Weinberger waives extradition, he could be returned to the United States as soon as February or March.