We encounter many dentists who believe that their practice is “safe” from embezzlement. These dentists often point to situational factors that they believe protect their practices from being embezzled. Some of the factors that we hear are that:
- Staff have been with me for a long time
- I pay my staff really well
- I totally trust my team
- My office manager is very religious
While the prospect of being embezzled is unsettling and we all want to be able to convince ourselves that it can’t possibly be happening in our practice, the statistics suggest otherwise. More than two thirds of all practices will eventually be embezzled, and embezzlement is often perpetrated by long-term, trusted employees.
Evolutionarily, one of the reasons that mankind has survived is that every human is capable of dishonest acts when subjected to sufficient pressure. Clearly, some people will tumble into breaking the rules relatively easily whereas others will require a much more dire set of circumstances to act dishonestly.
The following story shows how people who the conventional wisdom would suggest would never embezzle have done so. So let’s not make the mistake of assuming that personal characteristics offer some kind of immunity from embezzlement.
Nuns embezzle ‘substantial’ amount of funds from church school, monsignor says
(CNN)Two nuns misappropriated “substantial amounts” of funds from a Catholic school in Southern California for their own use, the monsignor of St. James Catholic Church said in a letter to parishioners.