Dentist who extracted tooth while riding hoverboard found guilty on 46 counts
ANCHORAGE, AK - A dentist in Alaska is convicted on dozens of charges after a video surfaced of him extracting a tooth while standing on a hoverboard.
Dentist Seth Lookhart joked that the oral surgery was simply performed in a "new standard of care," according to the lawsuit filed by the state of Alaska in 2017.
The sedated patient, Veronica Wilhelm, was unaware of the incident until she was contacted by investigators looking to confirm that she was the patient in the video.
Lookhart was convicted on 46 counts of medical assistance fraud, felony scheme to defraud, and misdemeanor counts of illegal practice of dentistry and reckless endangerment, according to The Alaska Department of Law.
Judge Michael Wolverton called the evidence presented by the state during a five-week bench trial "overwhelming."
Beyond the "unlawful dental acts," Lookhart was accused of billing Medicaid for procedures that were deemed either unnecessary or not properly justified and theft of $25,000 or more by diverting funds from Alaska Dental Arts, among dozens of others.
Lookhart's attorney Paul Stockler says he does not believe what his client has been accused of amount to crimes under Alaska law. Stockler apologized to Wilhelm saying, “I want you to know that as his lawyer, I apologize for what he did on that hoverboard. It’s unacceptable and you can be assured that when I agreed to represent him, I got in his face and told him what I thought about him for doing this.”
On Friday, Stockler reiterated that his client had made a “terrible lapse in judgment” but questioned the extremities of punishment.
“Should he lose his dental license for a period of time, for forever? Is it a crime?" Stockler told CNN. "I’ve been doing this for 30 years. He’s not the first person to do something idiotic. I’ve seen things a lot worse and nobody’s ever had criminal charges filed against them. As the law is written, I don’t believe that’s a crime.”
Lookhart is expected to be sentenced on April 30.