A dentist in Alaska is on trial and facing dozens of charges, including unlawful dental acts, engaging in a scheme to defraud Medicaid and medical assistance fraud after reportedly extracting a patient's tooth while riding a hoverboard back in 2016.
Dr. Seth Lookhart appears in a video recording of the operation which he allegedly shared afterward with multiple people via text message. In one message, he joked that it was "a new standard of care." The video shows Lookhart apparently performing the procedure, then celebrating, all while riding a hoverboard.
The patient, who was identified in court as Veronica Wilhelm, said that she was sedated when the now 34-year-old dentist performed the procedure while on the hoverboard.
Wilhelm said in court that if she had been awake, she would have not allowed Lookhart to operate on her, according to NBC News affiliate KTUU.
"I would've said 'Hell no!'" Willhelm said. "No, that's unprofessional. It's crazy."
Lookhart has had his license suspended and faces a total of 43 charges. According to prosecutors, Lookhart sedated clients using a costly, unnecessary IV instead of using local anesthesia, which allowed him to plan "a scheme to cut out his partners by billing Medicaid under a different provider ID and sending the money directly to his home."
Among his charges, Lookhart has reportedly stolen approximately $250,000 from his partners and been paid by Medicaid approximately $1.8 million for IV sedation services.
Also charged is Lookhart's office manager, Shauna Leigh Cranford, who reportedly worked with Lookhart to introduce IV sedation at the dental office and participated in procedures despite not having a license to practice dentistry.
Lookhart has pleaded not guilty to all of his charges. He faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $100,000 and restitution to those defrauded, which could total up to $2,500,000.
Despite apologizing on behalf of his client in the courtroom, Lookhart's lawyer, Paul Stockler said, "Many of the things they charged, he did not do and he is not guilty of.
"So, best case scenario is he'll be found guilty of a couple of the 43 counts, serve any sentence, maybe on ankle monitor and successfully be able to resume practicing dentistry again someday."
In court, Wilhelm was given a chance to address Lookhart.
"I have empathy, so I feel for you," she said, according to KTUU. "I don't feel bad for what you did on the hoverboard, just I think you could've made better choices. Probably could've been a really good dentist.
"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 and crazy. I forgive you for all of that, but there's obviously a high-priced lesson that you're going to have to learn."