SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A former Indiana surgeon captured in Italy after five years on the run has been sentenced to seven years in prison for health care fraud.

A federal judge who sentenced Mark Weinberger on Friday said imposed a relatively lengthy sentence because Weinberger fled and because of the trouble he caused his former patients and employees a lot of problems.

Weinberger pleaded guilty in July to 22 counts of health care fraud. He once ran a nose and sinus clinic in Merrillville, where prosecutors say he billed insurers and patients for procedures he didn't perform.

He vanished during a 2004 European vacation and was captured in December 2009 on an Italian mountainside, where authorities say he had been living in a tent.

Weinberger apologized for his actions during Friday's hearing.