Lytle sentenced to 12 years for laser device fraud

 Larry Lytle
Larry Lytle (KOTA)
Published: Apr. 20, 2018 at 10:43 PM CDT
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A dramatic and exhausting day in federal court Friday seemingly brought to an end the multi-million dollar fraud case centered around a former Rapid City dentist and a device called the Q-laser.

Prosecutors said that Larry Lytle targeted desperate people, using fraudulent claims about the power of his laser device to separate them from their wallets.

Lytle and others marketed the Q-Lasers as something of a cure-all, falsely advertising that they would to combat diabetes, HIV/AIDS, ALS, alzheimers and cancers.

Prosecutors said it was a "snake oil sales pitch," that had sinister element.

In the end, the 83-year-old Lytle was given a sentence that will put him in prison for twelve years. Two other co-defendants received lesser sentences.

In the courtroom were the Rutherford family who lost their mother to cancer after she forwent medical care to treat herself with Lytle's Q laser.

"It cost me a lot of pain and when she died it was like it shattered my world," said 15-year-old Danielle Rutherford. "And it still hurts. And it hurts even more knowing I'm going to graduate and she's never going to see that."

The case was described as a $16 million, multi-state fraud, with more than 3000 sales.

Lytle demonstrated some unique approaches during his trial. He attempted to withdraw a guilty plea and at one point filed a suit in state court against his prosecutor. On Friday Judge Roberto Lange wondered if Lytle suffered from "delusional thinking."

As the seven-and-a-half sentencing hearing ended, Lytle told the court he was firing his attorney for misrepresenting him.