Hovering Dentist Faces Jail Time

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Happy young woman and her cute son looking at doctor and listening to his recommendations

It’s a trademark of digital natives to overshare information and images. They’re young enough to have not known a time before people instantly shared video and images of everything from what they had for breakfast to bathroom selfies. (Too much information if you ask me.)

A young dentist in Alaska took this Millennial impulse to a new level when, after sedating a patient, performed a tooth extraction while riding a hoverboard. (And this gets better …) He then sent the video to his friends –- and billed Medicaid for the procedure.

A judge found Seth Lookhart, 34, guilty of 46 counts involving “unlawful dental acts,” reckless endangerment, and Medicaid fraud. Prosecutors said the Anchorage dentist needlessly sedated patients, and then billed the government for more than $10,000 for those procedures. Because private insurance usually does not cover sedation, Lookhart offered patients a flat $450 fee, while billing Medicaid more than $2,000.

In the hoverboard incident, phone records show that Lookhart texted the video to at least eight people and joked that his actions were “a new standard of care.” (Imagine what the video has done to increase the anxiety of people already nervous about going to the dentist.) The Alaska Dental Board has suspended his license.

Lookhart is scheduled to be sentenced in April. Each misdemeanor medical assistance fraud charge carries up to a year in jail and a $25,000 fine.

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from the article, “Hoverboarding dentist found guilty of ‘unlawful dental acts,’ published Jan. 18, 2020 on nbcnews.com.

An Anchorage dentist captured on video extracting the tooth of a sedated patient as he rode a hoverboard has been found guilty by a judge of 46 counts levied against him after the incident expanded into a wider probe of his practices.

The Friday guilty findings against Seth Lookhart, 34, included counts of “unlawful dental acts,” reckless endangerment and Medicaid fraud, according to NBC affiliate KTUU in Anchorage.

Information in this Fraud of the Day also comes from the article, “Dentist who pulled teeth while riding hoverboard is grounded,” published Jan. 21, 2020 in theguardian.com.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.