Canada: An Alaska dentist who was filmed pulling a sedated woman’s teeth while riding a hoverboard has recently been convicted of reckless endangerment and Medicaid fraud, according to a Press Release issued by the Alaska Department of Law.
Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton found Seth Lookhart, DMD, guilty of 46 counts of medical assistance fraud, scheme to defraud, illegal practice of dentistry, and reckless endangerment following a five-week bench trial. Dr. Lookhart and his office manager Shauna Cranford devised a scheme to push patients into choosing IV sedation over less costly anesthetic methods to maximize reimbursements from the state’s Medicaid program. They also cut out Dr. Lookhart’s former business partners by having the reimbursements sent to his home, according to charging documents.
Dr. Lookhart would be facing up to 11 years in jail and may have to pay up to $127,000 in fines plus restitution to his former partners and the state Medicaid program. Several factors, including allegations that Dr. Lookhart preyed on vulnerable patients, would affect his sentence.
“Lookhart believed that he could get away with his fraud indefinitely, and that he believed his scheme was foolproof,” Wolverton wrote in an order accompanying his verdict.
Calling the state’s evidence in the case “simply overwhelming,” the judge also found the dentist’s practice Lookhart Dental, doing business as Clear Creek Dental, guilty of all 40 counts alleged against it. His practice faces potential fines of about $3 million.
The large cache of evidence submitted at trial that “was often supported, and often in excruciating detail, by Lookhart’s own texts, photos, and videos,” the judge wrote. Prosecutors also believe patient testimony, specifically from patient Veronica Wilhelm, led to Dr. Lookhart’s conviction.
Earlier, the dentist was filmed riding a hoverboard while working on Wilhelm. He sent the video to several people and joked that it was the “new standard of care,” according to charging documents. Wilhelm only learned of the video, which can be seen here, when authorities contacted her.
Wilhelm testified that she didn’t consent to being filmed while sedated or having her teeth removed while Dr. Lookhart was on a hoverboard. If he had asked, she testified that she wouldn’t have given her consent.
-Courtesy by DrBicuspid.com