THE Alaska dentist, who went viral after he was filmed riding a hoverboard while performing a dental procedure, was sentenced Friday in dozens of federal and misdemeanor charges ranging from unnecessarily sedative patients to defrauding the state Medicaid program.
Seth Lookhart was convicted of 46 charges, including criminal health care fraud and fraud schemes, as well as misdemeanor charges for illegally practicing dentistry and reckless risk, prosecutors said. Anchorage High Court judge Michael Wolverton said he found the evidence presented by the state during a five-week bench test "simply overwhelming." Lookhart's company Lookhart Dental LLC, which operated as Clear Creek Dental, was also convicted of 40 counts.
Last month, a former patient testified that an investigator showed her a 2016 video of the dentist riding the wheeled motor vehicle while extracting one of her teeth when she was sedated.
"Obviously, I would not have approved of that. This is dangerous," said Veronica Wilhelm. "I would say & # 39; hell, no! & # 39; No, this is not professional."
Wilhelm said he did not consent to being filmed and added that Lookhart also sedated his son for routine teeth cleaning, KTUU-TV from Anchorage reported.
Lookhart's office manager, Shauna Cranford, previously pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud as part of a plea bargain.
In 2014, Lockhart was a new dentist who got a job working for two established dentists. He should receive $ 240,000 a year or 30% of the money he brought, whichever was greater, said Attorney General Eric Senta.
Cranford convinced Lookhart to offer Medicaid patients intravenous sedation as an alternative to less expensive anesthesia. The cost of intravenous sedation is generally not included in a patient's $ 1,150 annual limit for non-emergency dental procedures. The practice became profitable for Lookhart, and his practice in 2016 accounted for 31% of all Medicaid payments for IV sedation in the state, prosecutors said.
He also planned to cut his partners by billing Medicaid under a different supplier ID and receiving payments directly at his home, prosecutors said. Since Lookhart obtained an IV sedation license in 2015, prosecutors said, Medicaid has paid him about $ 1.9 million for IV sedation services.
Lookhart is scheduled to be sentenced on April 30 and faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $ 100,000 and restitution, the Associated Press reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.