Italian Justice System Efficient And Uncontroversial In Other Prominent International Cases #2
Posted by Peter Quennell
Here is a good example. Italy’s role was absolutely crucial. The Italian police tracked down and apprehended in a tent high in the Alps an American fugitive who had been on the run for six years.
His name is Dr Mark Weinberger and he ran a clinic in Indiana. He got in seriously over his head and assembled debts up in the millions. While on his large powerboat in Greece’s Aegean Sea with his wife Michelle, also seen here, he disappeared.
Man overboard, hopefully presumed dead?
But both American and European law enforcement kept digging. Below the image from Indiana’s North West Times is an excellent timeline of events in the next six years.
September 2004: Dr. Mark Weinberger, a Merrillville-based sinus surgeon, heads to Greece on vacation on a yacht. He never returns from his regular 6 a.m. jog, taking thousands in emergency cash with him. Michelle Weinberger, his wife, is saddled with nearly $40,000 in dock fees and no means to get home. Her friends take up a collection to help her return.
Sept. 6, 2004: Weinberger patient Phyllis Barnes dies of throat cancer.
Oct. 5, 2004: With Weinberger missing, Robert Handler is appointed by Lake Circuit Court to manage Weinberger Sinus Clinic’s business affairs and settle $7 million in outstanding loans. Records indicate the clinic has about $7,000 in its coffers, which sits in stark contrast to Weinberger’s lavish lifestyle.
Oct. 13, 2004: Barnes’ estate files a lawsuit against Weinberger. He is accused of incorrect diagnosis and unnecessary treatment that prevented Barnes from getting treatment for her throat cancer.
Oct. 20, 2004: Twenty-three other patients, ages 7 to 60, file suit, accusing medical malpractice. They say Weinberger never considered nonsurgical options after diagnosing them. Ultimately, nearly 300 lawsuits will be filed, most saying Weinberger issued identical diagnoses and treatments.
Oct. 21, 2004: Valparaiso attorney Ken Allen says a private detective he hired believes Weinberger traveled to Israel aboard his yacht. Allen said Weinberger, who is Jewish, may have picked the country because American Jews can travel there without a passport and cannot be extradited.
Oct. 28, 2004: The Indiana Medical Licensing Board votes unanimously to suspend Weinberger’s license for 90 days.
Dec. 10, 2004: Michelle Weinberger says her husband’s credit cards were used to pay large sums in the French Riviera. She heads there to find him.
January 2005: Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter seeks to extend suspension of Weinberger’s medical license for another 90 days. He says 221 malpractice complaints have been filed with the Indiana Department of Insurance.
April 28, 2005: Weinberger’s license is permanently suspended.
July 12, 2005: Weinberger’s 14,000-square-foot surgical center and 10,000-square-foot condominium office building sell for about $2.4 million.
Also sold at auction are 1,000 pieces of medical equipment for $650,000.
March 2006: Weinberger’s wife, Michelle, divorces him.
March 30, 2006: Fred Weinberger files a lawsuit against his son, seeking repayment of a $1 million loan plus $417,043 in interest and expenses he claims his son owes him.
Dec. 8, 2006: Mark Weinberger is indicted on charges of fraud and malpractice.
The investigation shifts gears from a missing person search to a manhunt.
September 2008: The TV show “America’s Most Wanted” features a segment on Weinberger’s disappearance.
March 2009: Barnes’ estate wins its malpractice lawsuit.
Dec. 15: Weinberger is apprehended. The 46-year-old was found hiding in a tent some 6,000 feet above sea level at the foot of Mont Blanc in the Italian Alps. He stabs himself in the neck with a knife he hid while authorities were approaching, but he recovers and later is extradited.
Oct. 18: Weinberger agrees to plead guilty to each of the 22 federal fraud counts against him in exchange for a four-year prison sentence. He agrees to pay $366,600 in restitution to 22 patients he admitted defrauding. A judge still must accept the plea deal.
Michelle Weinberger (now Michelle Kramer) testified against him in detail. She later graduated with a doctorate in psychology. He was sentenced to spend years in prison (exact duration depends on the amount of fraud still being uncovered) and huge fines. And for botched surgeries he faces a huge number of suits. Here is another example.
So a lot flowed from that high-altitude Italian arrest..
New Knox documentary this Sunday on CNN
The Italian police tracked this very crafty fugitive who had eluded the world for years, good for Italy. What a hideout.
Weinberger’s life reads like science fiction, unbelievable excess and wild spending. He certainly did think big (easier on free money). I’m sorry he took his own dad for a million dollars in unpaid loan.
It’s a sad loss for his family (caused divorce), for insurance or medicare he bilked and for the patients he needlessly operated on, misdiagnosed or abused. The world desperately needs good doctors, what a total tragedy.
The Italians are to be commended for a successful manhunt.
Hi Hopeful. Yes a very cruel man in his way. The italian police did well to nab him before he walked across one or two Alps to Swizerland, where relations between their police and American police are much cooler.
Michelle Kramer’s testimony in the video linked to above is an absolute eye-opener. They were flying hither and thither in a private jet, and they used the huge boat for many weeks a year. So far, of that we’ve found no images.
By the way, talking of doctors with wild illusions read this. As far as we can see, he did not manage to get even one hard fact right. Most of his rebuttals are plain silly.
And he actually TREATS people with paranoid illusions? Wow. Let us hope he does less harm than Mark Weinberger. Unlikely, but still possible.
Once again the Italian authorities prove themselves competent and professional. Thank you to the Italian authorities for finding another American scumbag.
Weinberger’s Italian girlfriend at the time found out who he really was and informed the Carabineri who acted really forcefully and fast and handed him over to the Americans with all possible speed.
The Carabinieri found he had set up three separate camps at the foot of a glacier. When they were about to take him down to the police station on a snowmobile he asked if he could get a ride back. Good luck with that one.
Last night the CNBC channel here repeated the Weinberger episode in the “American Greed” series and it was mostly about his endless fraud. Many patients are maimed for life and at least one patient died.
No wonder the Italians were happy to see him put on the first plane home. Nicely decisive. He may have lingered on longer in almost any other country in Europe.
Relations between US and Italian law enforcement are really very good - despite Steve Moore (apparently without realising who they are) foolishly chastising the Italian equivalent of the FBI.
Hi there, Peter. You made a minor error, at least according to this rather interesting Vanity Fair article. Weinberger wasn’t shopped by his girlfriend, he was caught when he failed to pay his rent and the landlord contacted the police. Incredibly, he was using his own name and the police didn’t have to do much checking to find out that he was a wanted man.
Hi Janus. No that is only half the story. Monica did turn him in. When the landlord complained, he was already up on the mountains and he was not paying rent up there. The Carabinierei were on the alert, but did not know where he was.
Here is more on page 5 about Monica turning him in. http://www.vanityfair.com/society/features/2011/01/missing-doctor-201101?currentPage=5
The Carabinieri checked their database and found an international arrest warrant for Weinberger from Interpol. They also discovered that he had been on America’s Most Wanted. But they did not know where he was.
On Monica’s 39th birthday, December 10, Weinberger came down from his tent, and they went skiing together. She also received a phone call that day from a friend who said he had to talk to her.
The next day the friend told her “that something was not right with Mark, that he was not who he said he was.” Moreover, the friend said, Mark was wanted by the F.B.I. Monica was astonished and confused.
That day she accompanied Mark back to the Val Ferret, where he headed off to his tent. When she returned to town, she went online. On the America’s Most Wanted Web site she learned who Mark really was and what he had allegedly done.
“My whole world collapsed,” she says. With a printed copy of the Web-site page, she went to the Carabinieri and told them that she “knew where Mark was and that they had to go get him.”
It was a wrenchingly difficult decision for her to turn him in—she had spent the best year of her life with him, she says—but “it had to be done, because I was raised to be sincere, because I had a civic duty, because I was also afraid He could not escape forever, and he should not escape forever.”
The Val Ferret cuts a long swath in between the mountains. Because of bad weather, the Carabinieri could not act on Monica’s tip and conduct a search by helicopter until December 14.
They did not find Weinberger but did spot traces that showed where he had been. In addition, a climber reported having seen a man living in a tent.
The next day, using a snowmobile, they located him. The temperature was roughly 4 degrees below zero, and the snow was so high that the tops of pine trees were barely visible.
Weinberger was in the vicinity of the Elena Refuge, about 6,000 feet above sea level and a quarter-mile from the main trail. He had chosen a spot at the base of the Triolet Glacier.
Giuseppe Ballistreri, head of the local Carabinieri, asked Weinberger what he was doing there. “I just want to live a quiet life,” he replied. Ballistreri asked for identification, and Weinberger produced a ski pass with the name “Mach Weinberg.”
Lacking proper papers, he was taken back to the Carabinieri barracks in Courmayeur. He was quiet, but did not appear to be nervous.
Subsequently, when officers searched the area where he had been taken into custody, they discovered not just one campsite but three. They found cans of food. They found a stove used to melt snow into water. They found changes of clothing. They found various medications, including Viagra. All of it was enough to last somebody for a significant period.
He then took out a knife he had concealed and cut himself near his jugular vein, in what some construed as a suicide attempt.
I found that because I wanted a shot of his $4 million boat the Corti-Seas and the piece mentions it. CNBC’s American Greed program repeatedly showed a large power yacht at Mykonos but never said that was THE one.
If you can find a shot of it please share?
Just an observation from me. If you go to the Seattle web page ‘Amanda Knox’ The first thing you will notice is the constant regurgitation of old stories and comments. It would appear that they have nothing new to report except the constant screams of ‘Innocent’ But then according to CNN there are still people in the USA who refuse to except that Obama is an American citizen. This has to do with the few conspiracy theorists that are left. I’m convinced that if Amanda Knox turned around tomorrow and pronounced to the world that she was guilty then the Seattle bunch and others would claim ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ or some such. In the meantime keep up the great work here and elsewhere until finally justice will be served. I have often wondered just what the Knox apologists will do after the final appeal fails and their sentence is confirmed?
Astounding that Amanda’s parents never realized nor were they counselled in her case by her lawyers on how to “work the system of justice leniency in Italy“.
They must have likely known nothing about the Italian system and thought they’d ride in the Bronco and use the “Unless You Can Prove It – She Didn’t Do It” or “Just Show the Jurors Amanda is a Nice Girl and Let Them Get to Know Her” hypotheses.
Do Kurt and Edda realize that they, through their own doing, could have subtracted at least 10 – 15 years from Amanda’s sentence buy simply requesting her to at least semi-confess to what she had done?
Had Amanda in her defence:
Explained that all of this happened due to the influence of drugs and unfortunately what she remembers is just a blur,
Explained she didn’t really intend to kill Meredith but just to intimidate her and something went terribly wrong; she is so sorry of any involvement she might have had,
Showed some or any remorse especially to Meredith’s parents,
Gone for the fast-track trial,
Had her defence team stress the point that at the time of the crime she was a 20-year-old young adolescent and therefore not yet emotionally formed,
Stress the fact that 20-year-old Americans have the emotional intelligence of an approximately 18-year-old European, and Amanda had not yet grasped the fact that the status “student” means study and not party.
For the friends of Amanda who certainly would never ever believe she was capable of such a heinous crime and to save embarrassment to the family - the parents would only have had to explain: “Well, Amanda didn’t really do it – we just had to say so to bring her home in the shortest possible time. “ Even the Grandmother might have believed and been relieved by this version.
The lure of fame and fortune was too great for the Knox/Mellas parents:
At the cost of their daughter.
They can certainly save the money of gullible “friends” and relieve Ted Simon of his duties. His expertise on international prison exchange is no longer needed. Amanda is much much better off in an Italian prison (in spite of the mosquitoes).
Personally Jade Tree I’m glad the parents ran their mouths….I am glad that ak will serve out the 26 years+tack on a lengthy slander sentence soon. I believe she is and always will be dangerous to whatever society she eventually is released into. She is in my opinion a detatched sociopath.