Dentist who rode hoverboard during operation sentenced to 12 years
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 the 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.
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.