Editorial: Why All The Fuss?

Last night, Kirk Hawkins of KTLA news interviewed me about the Damian Newhart bank robbery story. As we were talking, we calculated how much money was stolen in the seven robberies that Damian Newhart is accused of – just over $20,000. Now, that’s not a small amount of money. But I got to thinking. The amount of money that he took from his patients far exceeds $20,ooo. How many people have posted on here of fees in the $6,000 range? Quite a few, and I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Let’s just guess at least $100,000. That would be only about 30 patients – and I’ll bet he saw that many in a day.

So, why is it that when seven banks get hit for an average of about $3,000 each, the FBI gets involved and it’s all over the TV news and print media, but when the same guy breaches his trust with literally dozens of individuals, and maybe hundreds, for about the same amount each, individuals who can afford the loss far less than a bank, it hardly causes a ripple in the collective conscious?

Now, I don’t condone bank robbery. But I sure wish that the true victims of Damian Newhart – single moms who scraped and sacrificed to get their kids teeth straightened, kids – and adults, too – who had to repeat a long course of orthodontia due to the shoddy work done by Dr. Newhart, and even Dr. Newhart’s ex-wife and kids – I wish all those victims were being recognized and better yet, reimbursed. I’m sure the banks have insurance for that kind of thing. But where do you get insurance for losses from a crooked dentist?


  1. Hi Anonymous,

    I think possibly you take me too literally and too narrowly.

    I’m asking a broader question as to why our society gets upset over 7 banks being robbed for $3000 each (which is obviously a bad thing), but doesn’t apply the same resources and strictures to someone who takes much more than that, but from individuals, and not by threatening that there’s a gun, but by making promises that aren’t kept.

    My question really is…should it be that way?

  2. Jeff, you raise an excellent question, given your unique vantage point. I wasn’t aware of this situation until today but, from my vantage point, it looks like a train wreck. This website was a brave attempt to raise your voice and cry for help, not just for your self but for the sake of others. Thank you for your commitment to the common good. I’m sorry about the loss you and so many others have suffered. It will take years (though it may never happen) for the perpetrator to grasp the magnitude of the damage he has done. May hope and healing surround you and the many victims (including bank tellers, family members, patients, etc) of this terrible betrayal of trust.

  3. Great point. I got take for $4,500 when he closed the Laguna Niguel office. I couldn’t believe he just picked up and left. So bizarre. I’m glad I never paid with a debit/credit card or he’d still be trying to charge them.

  4. Hi Jeff – Yes, you make an excellent point here. FBI probably cares more about banks and corporations than they do about people because this kind of theft involves force and possible violence. Individual losses for non-violent theft (i.e services paid for and not rendered) is left up to the consumer. If you walked into a police station and say you were robbed, they would not take a police report. All these professional thieves, i.e con-men, know this to a certain degree. Doesnt matter whether they start as low life psychics, vacuum cleaner sales people, MLM sales all the way up to plumbers, painters, contractors, and yes, especially dentists and therapists. THEFT is theft, whether the victim willingly wrote a check and or its taken by force. SCUM.

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