Prosperident Pulse #103 February 2021

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Newsletter February 2021
Positivity
In January, we invited one of my favorite people, Kirk Behrendt, to join our monthly webinar as a guest presenter.
If you know Kirk, you know that he combines phenomenal energy with boundless optimism. And he certainly didn’t disappoint us. The theme of our January webinar was Hello, 2021! Full Steam Ahead. To a packed (online) house, Kirk made a statement that probably surprised many. He stated that dentistry is in a time of unprecedented opportunity for those who recognize how to take advantage of it. (You can check out Kirk’s remarks and gain some excellent takeaways from Kirk and the Prosperident team by watching the webinar, which can be found HERE.)
The past year’s events have made it easy to dwell on the punches that dentistry has taken. Empty chairs, closed practices, and increased overhead from PPE costs have become the norm.
While dentistry has been unquestionably battered and bruised, thankfully, it is still standing. A study conducted by the ADA in December showed that the average practice had recovered sufficiently to enjoy 78% of its pre-Covid patient volume. Since this is an average, it is safe to conclude that some dental practices are doing considerably better than this, whereas some are not. I spoke with a dentist earlier this week who said that his practice’s volume is 30% higher than pre-Covid levels.
What are the factors that differentiate the wildly successful dentists from those struggling to survive? That is exactly what our winter webinar series is exploring.
The theme of practice improvement will continue in our next webinar, which happens on February 18 at 8:00 pm Eastern. Our topic is Easy Steps for Your Best New Hire Ever! We are excited to welcome a special guest with fantastic ideas on this subject. Penny Reed, a shining light in dental consulting for many years, will be joining us.
In a 2020 webinar, we covered how to avoid the nasty “serial embezzlers” who skirt the vetting processes of most practices. This time we will examine a different side of the hiring problem, how to find and hire those elusive people who can help your practice reach its potential.
Our March offering will also grab the interest of many. We are very excited about our March 25 topic, Honing Your Practice Owner Skills.
My on-camera colleagues Wendy Askins and Amber Weber, our behind-the-scenes crew, and this month’s special guest Penny Reed all look forward to welcoming you into our audience in a few weeks. A registration link is below my picture.
And in case you need more incentive to sign up, we will draw 20 names to receive free copies of my book, Dental Embezzlement; The Art of Theft and the Science of Control, from all new registrants who enter “book offer” in the Remarks box on the registration form and register by February 15.
Yours truly,
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David Harris
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Designing Your Post Covid Practice
Join us for our Winter 2021 webinar series. For information and registration, please click HERE.
We are looking forward to “seeing” you on February 18 at 8:00 pm Eastern!
Want to check out one of our previous webinars? You can find them HERE.
Prosperident Inc. 888-398-2327 www.dentalembezzlement.com
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Webinar January 21, 2021 – Hello, 2021! Full Steam Ahead

Your hosts Amber Weber, David Harris and Wendy Askins welcome special guest presenter Kirk Behrendt. We discuss steps and strategies to make 2021 your best year ever.

If you want to check out other webinars that we have done, they are all available here – https://www.prosperident.com/prosperident-webinar-series/

If you prefer to receive content in podcast format, Prosperident’s The Dental Practice Owner’s Podcast is now available on Spotify, TuneIn and iHeart Radio and other podcast outlets. You can subscribe using one of the buttons below.

Embezzler’s Lawyer – Thief Would not Have Been Charged if She Stole from a Dentist Instead of the County

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Melissa K. Brennen

So this is how the rest of the world perceives the dental profession. We do not often report on embezzlement taking place outside of dentistry, but the attorney’s comments (bolded below) are noteworthy.


LISBON, OH — Melissa K. Brennen, the longtime employee of the county engineer’s office caught stealing tax map money, was sentenced to six months in prison Monday morning by county Common Pleas Court Judge Megan Bickerton.

Brennen, state Route 7, Columbiana, pleaded guilty in September to theft in office, a fourth-degree felony, after $2,940 was found to be missing from deposits made through the office between May 1 and Nov. 8 in 2019.

Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart had asked for a nine-month prison term.

Brennen’s defense attorney, Edward J. Hartwig, argued she led a law-abiding life for more than 40 years and has already been punished, not just with the loss of her job at the county engineer’s office, but also with the loss of another job after a background check was completed.

Hartwig further pointed out that if she had a similar secretarial job in any office that was not a public office, such as a dental office, she would not be charged with theft in office at all.

He provided the court with several letters supporting her and detailing Brennen’s volunteer work.

Brennen’s mother, Cheryl Brennen, told Bickerton her daughter has never been in any trouble her entire life and has been a big part of the family and a volunteer.

“I take full responsibility for my actions,” Brennen said prior to sentencing. “I apologize to anyone who I have hurt.”

But Bickerton pointed out it was not that Brennen’s conscious got the best of her and she stopped on her own, nor did it appear that she needed the money, which came from the residents of the county.

Additionally, Bickerton said there are questions about whether the thefts were actually happening prior to the dates known. According to Bickerton, there was no recommendation from the engineer’s office about the sentencing of Brennen.

Bickerton said the decision to sentence Brennen to prison was not an easy one, because she believes the people who said Brennen is a good person.

“You are a good person,” Bickerton said, “but you made a mistake.”

Brennen was ordered to pay restitution and the attorneys were both asked to file briefs about whether Brennen should be ordered to pay for the special audit which had to be conducted after the money was found missing.

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Content retrieved from: https://www.salemnews.net/news/local-news/2021/01/ex-employee-of-engineer-gets-prison-for-office-theft/

Missouri Office Manager Charged with Stealing from Dental Firm


Prosperident’s Amber Weber’s hard work paid off when she was able to help the victim in this case obtain justice for what was done to him.

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The office manager of a dental firm in Carthage stands accused of misappropriating more than $100,000 of the firm’s funds by allegedly skimming from cash receipts, overpaying herself and using the firm’s credit cards to make unauthorized purchases for herself and others.

Miranda Wolf, 43, of rural Joplin, was charged Dec. 21 in Jasper County Circuit Court with three counts of felony stealing following an investigation by Carthage police. She posted a $2,000 bond this week and was released pending a court appearance on Jan. 13.

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Miranda Wolf

A probable-cause affidavit filed with the charges alleges that Wolf stole from Cornerstone Dental in Carthage while working as office manager there from 2017 to January 2020. Her responsibilities included the handling of the firm’s payroll, cash deposits and credit card and Amazon accounts, according to the affidavit.

During her tenure at Cornerstone Dental, Wolf allegedly failed to deposit in the firm’s bank account $59,421.14 in cash that customers paid to the firm. The affidavit states that she admitted to an investigator that she had skimmed the money from the firm’s cash flow.

She also purportedly gave herself a raise in 2019 that continued into January 2020 without the knowledge or approval of the firm’s owners. The change she made to payroll added $44,823.19 to her pay in 2019 and another $2,702.32 in 2020, according to the affidavit. The self-awarded raise also resulted in increases of the firm’s contribution to her retirement fund by $1,050.12 and of FICA contributions by $3,635.70.

The unauthorized purchases of items for herself and others made with the firm’s credit cards totaled $27,765.80, according to the affidavit. She also purportedly sponsored an acquaintance’s events with funds taken from the firm’s account without the owners’ consent.

Have questions or concerns? Call us toll-free at 888-398-2327 or click the button below.

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Content retrieved from https://www.joplinglobe.com/news/crime_and_courts/office-manager-charged-with-stealing-from-carthage-dental-firm/article_67c2c49e-065c-58dd-9e44-4e1da33e898d.html