In Alaska, dentist, Seth Lookhart, being investigated for Medicare fraud extracted a patient’s tooth while riding on a hoverboard, and preserved a record of his dubious, unethical and potentially dangerous accomplishment on his cellphone, to watch over and over again. The patient, who was unconscious at the time, did not know that her dentist was performing oral surgery on her mouth while he was also riding on a hoverboard.
Gizmodo reported that the dentist from Alaska was charged last Monday with committing “17 counts of Medicare fraud and unlawful dental acts.” Investigators discovered that Lookhart had allegedly billed patients approximately $1.8 million for giving them IV sedation for dental procedures that did not require sedation. They also found the video Lookhart kept on his cellphone showing him performing a tooth extraction while riding on a hoverboard.
According to Gizmodo, the dentist under investigation for Medicare fraud texted the video of his questionable dental feat to his office manager. Lookhart reportedly joked that the tooth extraction he had performed while riding on a hoverboard was a revolutionary “new standard of care.”
CNET reported that court papers revealed the unorthodox dental procedure happened “in or around July 2016.” Lookhart filmed himself yanking the tooth out, according to the court papers, “and distributed the film to persons outside his dental practice.” According to CNET, the court papers specified that the act of performing a tooth extraction while riding a hoverboard was considered to be a misdemeanor.
Lookhart appeared in court in Anchorage, Alaska on Wednesday for a preliminary hearing. According to The Anchorage Daily News, the judge ruled that Lookhart, who “owns a dental clinic in Brazil,” was a flight risk.
Gizmodo reported that authorities also conducted an investigation into the actions of Shauna Cranford, Lookhart’s office manager. Of the 16 charges she is facing, 10 of them are felonies. The charges against Cranford have not yet been specified, but at least one of the charges likely stems from Lookhart allegedly agreeing to letting Cranford textract two teeth from an unconscious patient’s mouth. Lookhart did not seem to care that his office manager had extracted the two teeth while not possessing a medical license.
The prosecutors allege that Cranford was the person who suggested to Lookhart the IV sedation Medicare fraud scheme, so he could rake in the big bucks at a time in July of 2016 when he was facing financial problems. The prosecutors allege that after July 2016, the tooth extractions Lookhart performed at his dental clinic “increased 74 percent.” That roughly corresponded with a 91 percent decline in the number of regular procedures Lookhart had previously performed.
Lookart’s bail was set by the judge at $250,000. He was also required to forfeit his passport. June 6 will be Lookhart’s next scheduled court appearance.
According to KTUU, the hoverboard-riding dentist from Alaska is facing up to 10 years in jail if he is convicted. He could also get fined up to $100,000. Lookhart’s attorney is Michael Moberly.
Despite the fact that a dentist in Alaska successfully performed a tooth extraction while riding a hoverboard, the practice is not likely to catch on, as it is dangerous, unethical, and against the law. The dentist, Seth Lookhart, is also facing multiple charges related to his alleged participation in committing Medicare fraud by charging for unnecessary IV sedations beginning in the summer of 2016.
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy Facebook