Convicted hoverboard-riding dentist will serve 12 years in jail
ANCHORAGE, Alaska, U.S.: Videos of an Alaskan dentist treating a patient while riding a hoverboard went viral during an investigation of his practice last year. He has now been convicted on 46 separate felony and misdemeanor counts. As a result, he has been sentenced to serve 20 years in jail with eight years suspended, according to a statement by Alaska’s Department of Law.
As reported by Dental Tribune International at the start of the year, video footage that was recorded in 2016 showed Dr. Seth Lookhart appearing to extract a tooth from the mouth of his patient, Veronica Wilhelm, while moving slightly back and forth on a hoverboard or a self-balancing scooter. The footage, which was played during court proceedings, was filmed without Wilhelm’s knowledge or consent, as she was sedated at the time of the procedure.
In its statement, the Department of Law detailed that Lookhart had been found guilty of a myriad of crimes, including reckless endangerment, illegal dental acts and medical assistance fraud. Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton, the judge presiding over the case, affirmed in the statement that “Lookhart almost killed many patients by performing anesthesia thousands of times without training or consent, on patients outside his scope of training and expertise, while stealing money from Medicaid and embezzling from his bosses.”
Lookhart was paid $1.8 million by Medicaid for intravenous (IV) sedation procedures in 2016—more than three times the amount of the next highest IV sedation biller in Alaska—before his license to practice was revoked by the Alaska State Board of Dentistry the following year. His crimes went well beyond the financial realm, however, said Assistant Attorney General Eric Senta of the Office of Special Prosecutions.
“This is not a case where the court is sentencing someone who stole $2 million,” local news outlet KTUU reported Senta as saying. “Lookhart hurt people, vulnerable people, disabled children. Lookhart harvested organs, almost ended people’s lives. These are human beings that he targeted,” Senta stated.