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NY Dental CFO Accused of Embezzling $300k from Practice — has previous conviction for embezzlement

Beekmantown man accused of embezzlement, falsifying business records

Kevin J. Conroy, 32, arrested

UPDATED 7:37 PM EDT May 24, 2016

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LAKE PLACID – A chief financial officer of a Lake Placid dentist office was charged Monday with embezzling more than $300,000 from it and another North Country business.

Following a three-month investigation, state police charged Kevin Conroy, 32, of Beekmantown with two counts of grand larceny in the second degree, two counts of falsifying business records, three counts of forgery in the third degree and one count of grand larceny in the third degree.

Conroy was the CFO for High Peaks Dental Professional Partnership, which had an office in Lake Placid until December, and High Peaks Realty, which is based in Plattsburgh. according to a state police press release. The police investigation found that Conroy embezzled more than $300,000 between March 2012 and December 2015, the time period of his employment for the companies.

This was not the first time Conroy was accused of embezzling from a North Country business. In 2011, Conroy was accused of scamming more than $11,000 from his former employer, Curtis Lumber’s Plattsburgh store, according to a 2011 Press-Republican article,

Conroy was arraigned in the town of Plattsburgh court and was released after posting a $50,000 bond. He is scheduled to reappear in court on June 20.

Nikki Burdo, office manager of High Peaks Dental Professional Partnership, said Conroy was discharged from the practice on Dec. 23 of last year for reasons unrelated to the embezzlement charges. She added that “red flags” regarding his employment came up after he was let go.

“At that time, (High Peaks Dental Professional Partnership) doctors were unaware of the situation,” she said. “But talking to their financial advisers, red flags came up after the fact.”

State police spokesman Trooper Kyle Otis said the investigation began when Conroy’s employer reported their concerns to police in February.

The owners of High Peaks Dental Professional Partnership are dentists William Caldon and Michael O’Connor, who practiced out of Lake Placid until December of last year. Burdo said Conroy primarily worked out of the company’s Plattsburgh office but had worked in Lake Placid during his time with the company. She added that the company’s departure from its Lake Placid office was unrelated to Conroy’s charges.

Burdo said High Peaks Dental and High Peaks Realty are two separate businesses, but Caldon and O’Connor have a business partner on the realty side. Burdo said Conroy, in his role, took care of finances and served as a property manager for High Peaks Realty.

“Our primary focus has been working with our patients and trying to provide the best possible care for them,” Burdo said. “Business as usual.”

The 2011 Press-Republican article said state police believed Conroy ran a scheme for several months where he forged billing orders and merchandise-return paperwork at Curtis Lumber so he could get monetary credit on his personal account there.

He was arrested in August 2011 on charges of third-degree grand larceny, first-degree falsifying business records and third-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, but he pled guilty to lesser charges, petty larceny and filling a false instrument in the second degree, and paid a $200 fine, according to the Plattsburgh town court.

 


Do you have questions about embezzlement?  Give Prosperident a call at 888-398-2327 or send an email to requests@dentalembezzlement.com

Content retrieved from: http://adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/content.detail/id/562679/Man-charged-with-embezzling-over–300-000.html?nav=5017

The Myth of Fraud Prevention

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Published statistics suggest that three in five North American dentists will be victims of employee-perpetrated fraud at some point in their careers.

As a private investigator specializing in investigation of embezzlement against dentists, understandably I have spent considerable time examining dentistry’s apparent failure to control this epidemic. My view is that the approach that has been taken is misguided.

Much has been written on this topic (including by some “stars” of dental consulting) and yet I think that these well-intentioned authors have unfortunately learned the wrong lessons from the embezzlement that they have seen. After that bold statement, I owe you some explanation. The articles I refer to have enticing titles like “How to Prevent Fraud in Your Dental Office,” and they outline some internal control measures that supposedly result in fraud prevention.

I have been investigating dental office embezzlement for over two decades, and I will confess that for the first 15 years of my career I also believed that embezzlement could be prevented if an office would just implement enough controls. My company, Prosperident, even considered offering some kind of “controls remediation” service.

My epiphany happened while discussing an interesting embezzlement with one of my senior investigators. We were investigating an office where the dentist, not realizing at the time that embezzlement was happening, had changed some office procedures. By happenstance, one of these changes (requiring the dentist to approve all write-offs of patient balances) directly thwarted the thief’s primary methodology.

What do you think happened next? Did the embezzler stop stealing? Of course not! Our enterprising swindler quickly varied her methodology to steal in ways not involving write-offs. Looking at this ex post, the timeline was quite evident – the original embezzlement pattern followed by changes implemented by the dentist and responsive adaptation by the thief. When I saw this, I realized the futility of most of the controls advocated by these articles.

Thieves steal because they are driven by powerful forces (we characterize their motivation as “need or greed”). To a thief, control systems are merely speed bumps on the “embezzlement highway” – challenges to overcome to put YOUR money in THEIR pocket. While I have seen dumb thieves and crude embezzlements, most dental embezzling is sophisticated and the thieves can readily adapt when necessary. Since there are many ways to steal from you, they have many possibilities. So how should you stop them? Another of my bold statements – quit wasting resources on control measures that provide no collateral benefit.

I’ll illustrate with two examples. I fully support reviewing your day-end sheet. Since it’s easy to construct a fraud that bypasses this daysheet, this review won’t stop embezzlement, but it does catch sufficient ACCIDENTAL errors to justify the effort.

In contrast, one recommendation of many of these articles is to personally make bank deposits. I consider this a colossal waste of time – the same control happens by checking one line on your monthly bank statement against the daysheet, and most theft takes the money off the books before the daysheet is compiled, so this comparison is unlikely to reveal embezzlement.

Rather than implementing additional controls (at a cost of either money or your time) there is a simple and effective solution for detecting embezzlement. Our investigative work has shown that, notwithstanding the many possibilities for stealing from a dentist, the behavior of thieves is remarkably consistent, and that behavioral analysis is the quickest and most effective way of detecting embezzlement early. We have used a behavioral assessment internally for years and have recently developed a version for dentists and their advisors.

– See more at: http://www.offthecusp.com/myth-fraud-prevention/#sthash.zOHZ1rVn.dpuf

 


Do you have questions about embezzlement?  Give Prosperident a call at 888-398-2327 or send an email to requests@dentalembezzlement.com

Content retrieved from: The Myth of Fraud Prevention

Dental Hacks Podcast — How to Think Like a Criminal with David Harris (DHP95)

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How big of a risk is embezzlement in dentistry? In a word…HUGE! David Harris of Prosperident helps you understand why it pays to think like a criminal instead of a dentist!

Content retrieved from: How to Think Like a Criminal with David Harris (DHP95)

 


Do you have questions about embezzlement?  Give Prosperident a call at 888-398-2327 or send an email to requests@dentalembezzlement.com