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Hoverboard Dentist Sentenced to 12 Years In Prison

Illustration for article titled Dentist Who Pulled Tooth While Riding Hoverboard Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison

Screenshot: Gizmodo/Seth Lookhart’s Dental Office

The hoverboard is the cursed gadget that keeps on giving. Years after the devices became infamous for exploding, they’re back in the news. This week, Seth Lookhart, a former dentist in Anchorage, Alaska, was sentenced to 12 years in jail after a video of him removing a patient’s tooth while riding a hoverboard drew unwanted attention to his illegal activities. Lookhart was convicted on 46 felony and misdemeanor counts in January that included charges of medical assistance fraud, scheme to defraud, unlawful dental acts, and reckless endangerment.

Lookhart’s sentencing took place on Monday, and according to a statement from the Alaska Department of Law, he was given a full sentence of 20 years in jail with eight years suspended. The disgraced dentist was also placed on probation for 10 years and told he can’t practice medicine during that time. According to local news outlet KTUU, the state could still revoke Lookhart’s medical license permanently.

In 2016, at the height of the hoverboard fad, Lookhart decided to conduct a routine tooth removal procedure while teetering on one of the devices. Video footage was taken of the event in which he can be seen victoriously pulling the tooth from the mouth of a sedated patient. He then proceeds to engage the hoverboard and speed down the hallway of his office with his arms raised above his head. According to charging documents, Lookhart’s actions “did not conform to minimum professional standards of dentistry,” and he shared the video with several “persons outside his dental practice.”

The stunt is the primary reason Lookhart’s case has gone viral, but authorities found that he was also unnecessarily sedating patients to rack up fraudulent Medicaid charges totaling almost $2 million—a scam that authorities say he freely described in text messages saying that he was offering a “new standard of care.” In the statement, Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton is quoted as telling the court that the “overwhelming amount of evidence was often supported, and often in excruciating detail, by Lookhart’s own texts, photos, and videos.”

Some of Lookhart’s victims confronted him from the witness stand during the trial. Veronica Wilhelm, the patient in the hoverboard video, told Lookhart in the courtroom, “I don’t have anything bad to say about taking out my tooth, I appreciate that, but I just think that what you did was outrageous, narcissistic, you know, and crazy.”

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Local dentist pleads guilty to asbestos-related charges, sentenced to probation | Local News

CHEYENNE – A local dentist has pleaded guilty to federal charges of negligently causing the release of asbestos.

Richard Cutler, who owns New Image Dental in downtown Cheyenne, will serve three years of supervised probation and perform at least 120 hours of community service. He will also pay $25,000 in fines, $2,225 in restitution and a $25 special assessment, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the office of Wyoming’s U.S. attorney, Mark Klaassen.

The sentence stems from charges related to the renovation of the building now occupied by New Image Dental.

In 2013, Cutler bought the building at 2100 Pioneer Ave., which previously housed the Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities offices, with the intention of using the space for his dental practice.

But an early inspection of the building revealed the presence of asbestos.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, asbestos is a mineral fiber that was used for insulation and as a fire retardant in some building projects through much of the 20th century. Exposure to asbestos can increase someone’s risk of lung disease, mesothelioma and asbestosis. People are most at risk to asbestos during construction work.

According to previous reporting by the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, any building found to have more than 1% asbestos must adhere to federal, state and city regulations.

In Wyoming, that requires, among other things, notifying the state Department of Environmental Quality at least 10 working days prior to distribution of asbestos-riddled material.

Despite the known presence of asbestos at 2100 Pioneer Ave., Cutler’s contractor, Jacob Lee Davis, started renovation work at the building in 2015 without adhering to federal and state regulations.

An EPA investigation later found that several workers were exposed or potentially exposed to asbestos during the project, according to the memo from Klaassen’s office.

In addition to Cutler’s guilty plea, Davis pleaded guilty to knowingly violating and causing others to violate asbestos work practice standards earlier this year. A federal judge sentenced Davis to three years of supervised probation, a $9,000 fine and a $100 special assessment. Davis has also agreed to pay $2,225 in restitution.

“The defendants in these cases caused asbestos to be released, which presented a serious health threat to workers,” said Lance Ehrig, assistant special agent in charge of EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, Denver Area Office.

“The prosecutions in these cases further demonstrate EPA’s commitment to the protection of human health and the environment.”

Kathryn Palmer is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s education reporter. She can be reached at [email protected] or 307-633-3167. Follow her on Twitter at @kathrynbpalmer.

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Alaska dentist who defrauded Medicaid sentenced to 12 years

The Alaska dentist was sentenced after he was convicted on 46 counts of defrauding the federal Medicaid program.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Editor’s Note: The video above is from Jan. 21, 2020.

An Alaska dentist convicted on 46 counts of defrauding the federal Medicaid program has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Seth Lookhart, 35, was also filmed riding a hoverboard during a procedure on a patient who was under anesthesia, KTUU-TV reported Monday.

Anchorage Superior Court Judge Michael Wolverton found Lookhart guilty Jan. 17 of pressuring patients to needlessly undergo intravenous sedation to bill Medicaid for the service.

Wolverton on Monday suspended eight years of the sentence, leaving Lookhart 12 years of prison time to serve.

The state requested that the court order Lookhart to pay more than $2 million in restitution for Medicaid fraud.

A 25-second video that appeared to have been filmed using a phone showed Lookhart riding a hoverboard into an exam room before removing a tooth from a sedated patient and then pivoting and riding away.

RELATED: A dentist was filmed extracting a tooth while on a hoverboard. He was found guilty on 46 counts

Evidence presented at trial showed other patients were left unattended while sedated, had breathing and heart complications and in some cases nearly died.

Patients also testified they woke from anesthesia to discover Lookhart worked on or removed the wrong teeth or strayed from agreed treatment plans.

The judge said he was particularly struck by numerous text messages in which Lookhart bragged to friends about his crimes.

Lookhart apologized in court while reading a prepared statement.

“While I do not doubt that I was able to render care and alleviate the pain to many people who were in dire need, I also know that I could have and should have maintained better discipline and focus while serving a patient base I came to love,” he said.

Lookhart is scheduled to begin serving his sentence Dec. 7.

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Dentist Who Extracted Tooth On ‘Hoverboard’ Sentenced To 12 Years In Prison

An Alaskan dentist who extracted a patient’s tooth while on a hoverboard was sentenced Monday to 12 years in prison for dozens of charges including Medicaid fraud, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Anchorage Court Judge Michael Wolverton said Monday that Seth Lookhart nearly killed several patients by frequently sedating them for extended periods of time.

Lookhart was found guilty by a jury in January on 46 charges including Medicaid fraud, embezzlement, reckless endangerment, and unlawful dental acts. He formerly worked at Alaska Dental Arts in 2015 but later bought the business and changed its name to Clear Creek Dental.

Charges against Lookhart were filed in 2017 after a former employee told investigators the dentist was increasing profits by performing more sedation procedures than necessary. In 2016, Lookhart and his former office manager Shauna Cranford billed nearly $2 million in unjustified sedation expenses, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

During the trial that began last November, former employees and patients testified against Lookhart, including a woman whose tooth was pulled while Lookhart rode on a hoverboard.

In the viral hoverboard video, Lookhart balanced on the board while extracting a patient’s tooth before zooming away into the corridor. 

Investigators tracked down the patient, Veronica Wilhelm, who was sedated and had no idea about the hoverboard stunt, the New York Post noted. 

She testified in court last year that she was upset when she discovered what had happened. 

“When did Dr. Lookhart get your approval to take out your tooth on a hoverboard?” prosecutor Joan Wilson asked in court.

“He never did. I obviously wouldn’t have approved that. That’s dangerous,” Wilhelm said. 

Another patient testified about having four teeth removed without his permission.

Lookhart’s dental license was suspended in 2017 after the charges were filed, but Wolverton ruled Monday that Lookhart will not be allowed to practice medicine during his 10-year probation period. 

Prosecutors on Monday asked Wolverton to order Lookhart to pay $2.2 million in restitution for the fraud and embezzlement, although the amount will be determined at a hearing later this month.

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