NBC’s ‘Dateline: A Wanted Man’ is an episode that examines the tale of Dr. Mark Weinberger, a sinus surgeon dubbed “The Runaway Doctor” after he vanished halfway across the world following the accusations against him for scaring his patients into undergoing numerous needless procedures. With a practice in Merriville, Indiana, the once-renowned rhinoplasty specialist was apprehended in 2009, after which he pleaded guilty to 22 charges of healthcare fraud. He eventually received a far longer sentence than he or his lawyers anticipated. So now that it’s been a while, let’s find out more about him and his current whereabouts, shall we?
Who is Dr. Mark Weinberger?
Born in 1963 to Fred and Fanny Weinberger, Mark Weinberger graduated from the well-regarded Scarsdale High School before deciding to attend the University of Pennsylvania and the School of Medicine at UCLA. Subsequently, as a young and ambitious doctor, with a fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago, he studied under some of the most celebrated surgeons until he became qualified enough to open a clinic in Merriville. However, his whole world turned upside down in mid-2004, when multiple lawsuits were filed against him, accusing him of healthcare fraud and medical malpractice.
In September of that same year, Mark disappeared while vacationing on his yacht in Greece, leaving behind a wife and $6 million in debts. In fact, he evaded capture until the authorities found him hiding in a tent at the Carabinieri station, below Mont Blanc, in the snowy European Alps, in late 2009. From the glitzy Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago, Mark went to the point where he stabbed himself in the neck as the police tried to take him in to avoid capture. He was sent to a local hospital in Turin to recover before being extradited to the United States of America to face justice.
Where is Dr. Mark Weinberger Now?
After pleading guilty to 22 counts of fraud in the summer of 2011, Dr. Mark Weinberger was sentenced to a total of 84 months or seven years behind bars, nearly double the recommendation under federal guidelines. As per The Chicago Tribune, Mark claimed to cook meals and teach yoga to his fellow inmates while incarcerated at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York in the early years of his sentence. Moreover, he allegedly also conducted a class on non-violence, where he scripted Socratic dialogues between prominent historical figures.
By the time Mark was convicted, he had already spent nearly three years in prison, meaning that he could be released as early as 2017. As this time neared, a District Judge ruled that the former doctor could be transferred to South Florida, where he would be under supervision until January 2017. In June, Mark was transported from a low-security facility in Coleman to a Florida contract center, which falls under the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Miami Residential Re-entry Management office. Mark’s release date was then set for mid-January 2019.
During this period, Mark was allowed to stay at a halfway house, where he might have been given the privilege to work in the local community, only to return to the facility at night. With that said, since his 2019 release, Mark has stayed under the radar, preferring to experience his life away from media scrutiny. As a former physician, Mark’s job was to prioritize the needs of his patients. However, instead of doing that, he exploited them to the best of his abilities and then absconded. In this light, the punishment he faced seems fair.
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