Prosperident Newsletter # 53 — January 2017

Prosperident’s Dental Embezzlement News
Issue #53 — January 2017
In This Issue:
  • Embezzlement Investigation’s “First Family”
  • Upcoming Speaking Dates
  • A note from our CEO

Jan 11 ITI Study Club, Delray Beach FL
Jan 19 St Helens Shadow Study Club, Vancouver WA
Jan 26 topsOrtho topsFest, Newport Beach CA
Jan 28 Manitoba Dental Association, Winnipeg MB
Feb 3 Newport Harbor Academy of Dentistry, Newport Beach CA
Feb 23 Ortho2 UGM Anaheim CA
Feb 24 Chicago Midwinter Meeting, Chicago IL
Mar 3 Dolphin Management User Meeting, Nashville TN
Mar 9 Greater Philadelphia Valley Forge Dental Society, Philadelphia PA
Mar 10 Pacific Dental Conference, Vancouver BC
Mar 17 Dr. Michelle Haddad Memorial Scholarship Lecture New Hartford, NY
Mar 21
Greater Woonsocket District Dental Society, Providence RI
April 7 UCSF Alumni, San Francisco CA
Apr 28 Keely Dental Society, Hamilton OH
May 4 Texas Dental Meeting, San Antonio TX
Our most-requested presentation is called “How To Steal From A Dentist”.
To book us for your meeting or study club, click here or call us at 888-398-2327.

Embezzlement Investigation’s “First Family”

Did you know that an entire family works for Prosperident?
Scott Clifford is one of Prosperident’s most senior investigators.  He heads our Special Investigations group (“where the unusual happens every day and the unimaginable happens about once a month”).
Scott’s wife, Rose, started her Prosperident career by helping Scott work on cases.  She is now an Intermediate Analyst who coordinates the receipt of information for new cases we take on.
Scott and Rose’s gifted 14 year old daughter Miki had a school assignment of writing a job application letter to a company. She naturally chose her parents’ workplace.  What she didn’t expect was that her letter so impressed our CEO that he actually offered her a job.  So Miki now combines her schoolwork with improving Prosperident’s electronic communications.
We are thrilled to have the Clifford family as part of our Team!

Did you miss a previous newsletter?  We archive them here.

Guest Post — Do Your Patients Want Online Scheduling Options?

It makes absolutely no sense that you can book an airline ticket to Ulaanbaatar (it’s the capital of Mongolia, if you are curious) online, but that patients could not schedule their own dental appointments online.

So when our friends at Solutionreach developed a solution called Limelight that allows patients to do exactly that, we thought you might be interested, and we asked them to tell us about it.  Here is what they said:


For better or worse, technology has become a ubiquitous aspect of modern life. We work on computers for our jobs and continue using them when we get home. Our cellphones have more computing power individually than all of NASA had for the lunar landings. We are a tech-savvy society, and your practice needs to keep pace.

According to the Pew Research Center, 72 percent of Americans looked online for health information, and 77 percent used a search engine to locate a healthcare provider in 2013. Not surprisingly, this number is expected to continue growing as more and more Americans integrate laptops and smartphones into their daily lives.

One of the most interesting and important developments in this area is the desire for people to be able to schedule appointments online from their computers and smartphones. Many industries such as restaurants, salons, and even auto body shops, have been offering this service for a number of years. The technology already exists and has shown to be reliable. Yet despite the software being available, only about 20 percent of healthcare providers offer an online scheduling service to patients.

Read more

Meet An Embezzler — Indiana’s Barbara McAlister

Barbara’s son was arrested for stealing $4,000 from the local fire department.  He had to pay it back, plus he ran up some legal bills.  So she stole it from the dental office where she worked.  She was ordered to pay back $142,000

We profile Barbara, and 380 other embezzlers, in our Hall of Shame.  Check it out here — https://www.prosperident.com/prosperidents-hall-shame-gallery/

A Note From Our CEO
Over the past week, I’ve encountered a couple of similar situations, which leads me to believe that this scenario is worthy of my writing about it.

Both situations started with a call from a practice owner who had just discovered that an employee had previously embezzled from another practice.

While this isn’t my focus today, I’ll mention that this does highlight the poor job that most dentists do when screening job applicants; in both cases this information was discoverable before hiring. An article on proper pre-employment screening is here.

In both calls, we were being asked to see if these employees were now embezzling. I think that the hope of my callers was that if our investigation came back “clean”, they could stop worrying about these employees.

Unfortunately it fell to me to burst their bubbles, and I told each caller that in my view, the employees should be fired immediately.

Embezzlers are people who, responding to a particular set of pressures, chose to steal.  Many others, in similar circumstances, adopted some other solution.  The probability that, over the duration of their employment, those pressures will reoccur is considerable.

Once someone has shown a preparedness to cross the “criminal threshold”, particularly if doing so had relatively few consequences, the likelihood of recidivism is high.

There are certainly people (and I count myself among them) who, after youthful miscreance, choose to change their behavior.  I know and admire many people who mad a positive change in direction.

However, both of the employees in question failed a basic honesty test when applying for their current positions — they could have owned up to their pasts instead of concealing them.  Since both got their jobs on the basis of lies, this tells me that they have not yet turned the corner towards honesty, and are “ticking time bombs”.

While it wasn’t exactly what my callers were hoping to hear from me, I’m pleased to tell you that both have taken my advice and have parted company with these employees.

Thanks for reading, and here’s hoping that you don’t have such a problem in your office.

David Harris CPA, CMA, MBA, CFE, CFF
Chief Executive Officer
Prosperident is the world’s largest firm investigating financial crimes committed against dentists.
Visit our website — www.dentalembezzlement.com

Unsubscribe here

Prosperident Newsletter #52 December 2016

Prosperident’s Dental Embezzlement News
Issue #52 — December 2016
In This Issue:
  • What “balancing” really means
  • Upcoming Speaking Dates
  • A note from our CEO

Nov 4 PEAK Education, Novi MI
Nov 10 Carestream Global Oral Health Summit, Las Vegas NV
Nov 16 Harbor Dental Society, Lakeside CA
Dec 5 Queens County Dental Society, Jamaica NY
2017
Jan 11 ITI Study Club, Delray Beach FL
Jan 19 St Helens Shadow Study Club, Vancouver WA
Jan 26 topsOrtho topsFest, Newport Beach CA
Jan 28 Manitoba Dental Association, Winnipeg MB
Feb 3 Newport Harbor Academy of Dentistry, Newport Beach CA
Feb 23 Ortho2 UGM Anaheim CA
Feb 24 Chicago Midwinter Meeting, Chicago IL
Mar 3 Dolphin Management User Meeting, Nashville TN
Mar 9 Greater Philadelphia Valley Forge Dental Society, Philadelphia PA
Mar 10 Pacific Dental Conference, Vancouver BC
Mar 17 Dr. Michelle Haddad Memorial Scholarship Lecture New Hartford, NY
Mar 21
Greater Woonsocket District Dental Society, Providence RI
April 7 UCSF Alumni, San Francisco CA
Apr 28 Keely Dental Society, Hamilton OH
May 4 Texas Dental Meeting, San Antonio TX
Our most-requested presentation is called “How To Steal From A Dentist”.
To book us for your meeting or study club, click here or call us at 888-398-2327.

Introducing Kelly Paxton

We are thrilled to welcome Kelly Paxton, CFE to our team. Kelly’s ground-breaking focus on “pink collar crime” (i.e. by female embezzlers) has made her well known in fraud investigation circles. Look for Kelly to be speaking soon at a conference near you.

Did you miss a previous newsletter? We archive them here.

If my day-end report balances to my bank deposit, can I still be embezzled?

In a word, YES.

Many dentists believe that if the “daysheet” generated by their practice management software balances to their bank deposit, embezzlement is not happening in their practice.

Please don’t take us out of context — carefully checking the daysheet is something every dentist should do daily. This recommendation is not based on the idea that it will catch embezzlement (it probably won’t), but it will help you spot data entry errors and other mistakes that can cost you money.

Dentists tend to believe that the daysheet is “right” because it comes from their computer, is nicely formatted, and is produced by a sophisticated practice management software. It is human nature to accept the veracity of documents that arrive in this way. However, what these dentists are forgetting is that normally entry of transactions in the software and printing of this report are performed solely by staff. With this kind of control, it is not difficult for a staff member to make the daysheet say whatever they want it to, and therefore make it balance to a bank deposit that has been reduced by embezzlement.

Thieves are both motivated and clever, and generally have little trouble finding a way to make the daysheet present an untrue picture.

Read more

Meet An Embezzler — Oregon’s Jodi Lynne Setzer

Jodi, who was a bookkeeper for several Medford, OR businesses, was convicted of embezzling over half a million dollars from local businesses including a dentist and law firm.

Her efforts earned her a three-year prison sentence and membership in our “Half Million Dollar Club”.

We profile Jodi, and 350 other embezzlers, in our Hall of Shame. Check it out here — https://www.prosperident.com/prosperidents-hall-shame-gallery/

A Note From Our CEO

You probably have no reason to know this, but Fraud Awareness Week takes place every year in November. This is ironic because December and January are the two busiest months for embezzlers. And we have Santa Claus to blame.

You may have heard me say before that embezzlers fall neatly into two categories, which I label “Needy” and “Greedy” (see a full discussion here). Regardless of their motivation, the Christmas season exerts increased pressure on embezzlers, which makes these months very active ones for theft, and expensive ones for victims.

As a way of saying “thank you” to our readers, I’d like to extend you an offer. One of our most popular documents is our Embezzlement Risk Assessment Questionnaire. The Questionnaire is fairly quick to complete, and you receive a score by email that provides a pretty good barometer of the probability you are being embezzled.

We normally sell the Questionnaire on our web site for $75. However, in the holiday spirit, I’d like to give it to you. This offer is open until the end of December — just go to the following web site to receive a link:

https://www.prosperident.com/2016/11/29/month-december-take-embezzlement-risk-assessment-questionnaire-free/

Thanks for reading, and on behalf of everyone at Prosperident, I’d like to wish you a terrific (and hopefully embezzlement-free) holiday season.

David Harris CPA, CMA, MBA, CFE, CFF
Chief Executive Officer
Prosperident — the world’s largest firm investigating financial crimes committed against dentists
Visit our website — www.prosperident.com

Unsubscribe here

Embezzlement News # 51 November 2016

Prosperident’s Dental Embezzlement News
Issue #51 — November 2016
In This Issue:
  • Laura Hatch returns!
  • Upcoming Speaking Dates
  • A note from our CEO

Nov 4 PEAK Education, Novi MI
Nov 10 Carestream Global Oral Health Summit, Las Vegas NV
Nov 16 Harbor Dental Society, Lakeside CA
Dec 5 Queens County Dental Society, Jamaica NY
2017
Jan 11 ITI Study Club, Delray Beach FL
Jan 19 St Helens Shadow Study Club, Vancouver WA
Jan 26 topsOrtho topsFest, Newport Beach CA
Jan 28 Manitoba Dental Association, Winnipeg MB
Feb 3 Newport Harbor Academy of Dentistry, Newport Beach CA
Feb 23 Ortho2 UGM Anaheim CA
Feb 24 Chicago Midwinter Meeting, Chicago IL
Mar 3 Dolphin Management User Meeting, Nashville TN
Mar 9 Greater Philadelphia Valley Forge Dental Society, Philadelphia PA
Mar 10 Pacific Dental Conference, Vancouver BC
Mar 17 Dr. Michelle Haddad Memorial Scholarship Lecture New Hartford, NY
Mar 21
Greater Woonsocket District Dental Society, Providence RI
April 7 UCSF Alumni, San Francisco CA
Apr 28 Keely Dental Society, Hamilton OH
May 4 Texas Dental Meeting, San Antonio TX
Our most-requested presentation is called “How To Steal From A Dentist”.
To book us for your meeting or study club, click here or call us at 888-398-2327.

Probability of you being embezzled in your career 60%
Probability that you will regret deleting this newsletter if that happens 100%

Did you miss a previous newsletter? We archive them here.

She’s Back — Our Most Popular Guest Columnist Ever

If you don’t know who Laura Hatch is, you probably should. Laura runs a consulting company called Front Office Rocks, and is quickly making a name for herself as one of practice management’s bright lights. We have featured her twice as a guest columnist, and her articles have been wildly popular with our readers. So we are all looking forward to Laura’s next installment.

How to Prepare the Morning Huddle

A morning huddle isn’t just about reviewing what procedures are being done that day. It should include every piece of information about the patients on that day’s schedule so that the whole team can fully take care of the patient’s needs.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for your office to be having a morning huddle each and every day before you start seeing patients. The morning huddle is essential to get everyone on the same page and plan out the day. Everyone on your staff should be responsible for getting ready for the morning huddle and being prepared to share information regarding the patients scheduled.

  • An accurately prepared morning huddle, at a minimum, starts the day before.
  • Have one person responsible for reviewing the following day’s upcoming patient appointments and double check the schedule.

Read more

Meet An Embezzler — “Tricky” Vicki Wafford of Temecula CA
Vicki Lee Wafford was convicted of stealing $1.6 million from her Oceanside CA dental office to feed her drug and gambling addictions, and to purchase a lot of luxury items.
Vicki’s efforts earned her an eight year prison sentence, and a place in our exclusive “Million Dollar Club”.
We profile Vicki, and 350 other embezzlers, in our Hall of Shame. Check it out here — https://www.prosperident.com/prosperidents-hall-shame-gallery/
Note From Our CEO

There are relatively few things that frustrate me, but I’ll confess that I do experience some bruxism over the number of people who I will call “well-intentioned dabblers” who offer advice on how to “prevent” embezzlement.

These people have typically seen several embezzlements, but have managed to learn the wrong lessons from them.

When someone has, for example, embezzled by stealing from the bank deposit enroute to the bank, a logical conclusion is that the practice owner should personally make the bank deposit. Similarly, if an office has a single user account in its practice management software, which is then exploited by an embezzler, the dabblers will conclude that individual user accounts with proper restrictions would have “prevented” the embezzlement.

While I think a proper setup of software user accounts and not delegating banking are great ideas, the concept that these steps will somehow prevent embezzlement reflects a misunderstanding of the determination of embezzlers and the porosity of dental offices.

Blocking the first embezzlement idea an employee thinks of will not convert them into an honest person; instead it leaves you with a larcenous staff member looking for a different way to steal. And in a typical practice, they have hundreds of options.

So let’s shelve the idea that we can “prevent” embezzlement, and focus on detection instead. A good start is our article on 10 great monitoring ideas. You can check it out here.

Thanks for reading!

David Harris CPA, CMA, MBA, CFE, CFF
Chief Executive Officer
Prosperident — the world’s largest firm investigating financial crimes committed against dentists
Visit our website — www.dentalembezzlement.com

Unsubscribe here

Embezzlement News #50 — October 2016

Prosperident’s Dental Embezzlement News
Issue #50 — October 2016
In This Issue:
  • Ten things you might not know
  • Upcoming Speaking Dates
  • A note from our CEO
Oct 13 Sunset Study Club, Portland OR
Oct 15 Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists, Palm Springs CA
Oct 21 Argyle Group, Ottawa ON
Oct 22 Alberta Society of Dental Specialists, Edmonton, AB
Oct 28 Spectrum Day, Toronto ON
Nov 4 New Castle Dental Study Club, Wilmington DE
Nov 4 PEAK Education, Novi MI
Nov 10 Carestream Global Oral Health Summit, Las Vegas NV
Nov 16 Harbor Dental Society, Lakeside CA
Dec 5 Queens County Dental Society, Jamaica NY
2017
Jan 11 ITI Study Club, Delray Beach FL
Jan 19 St Helens Shadow Study Club, Vancouver WA
Jan 26 topsOrtho topsFest, Newport Beach CA
Jan 28 Manitoba Dental Association, Winnipeg MB
Feb 3 Newport Harbor Academy of Dentistry, Newport Beach CA
Feb 23 Ortho2 UGM Anaheim CA
Feb 24 Chicago Midwinter Meeting, Chicago IL
Mar 3 Dolphin Management User Meeting, Nashville TN
Mar 9 Greater Philadelphia Valley Forge Dental Society, Philadelphia PA
Mar 10 Pacific Dental Conference, Vancouver BC
Mar 17 Dr. Michelle Haddad Memorial Scholarship Lecture New Hartford, NY)
Mar 21
Greater Woonsocket District Dental Society, Providence RI
April 7 UCSF Alumni, San Francisco CA
Apr 28 Keely Dental Society, Hamilton OH
May 4 Texas Dental Meeting, San Antonio TX
Our most-requested presentation is called “How To Steal From A Dentist”.
To book us for your meeting or study club, click here or call us at 888-398-2327.
Probability of you being embezzled in your career -60%
 
Probability that you will regret deleting this newsletter if that happens -100%
Did you miss a previous newsletter? We archive themhere.
Ten Things You Might Not Know About Prosperident
Sometimes we make the mistake of assuming that everyone knows who we are and what we do.  Here are some things you might not know.
1.  The company was founded in 1989, by David Harris.
2.  David got drawn into the dental embezzlement world by accident.  Once he found himself there, his investigative skills and amazing ability to think like a criminal quickly established him as the “top gun” of embezzlement investigation for dentists.
3.  Prosperident only assists dentists.  We do not investigate in other businesses, nor do we work for dental insurance companies, the IRS etc.
4.  We work with all dental specialties and have specialized groups to deal with embezzlement in oral surgery and orthodontic practices.  Our Special Investigations” group deals with some of our more unusual cases.
5.  Our dozen investigators all had extensive dental backgrounds before they started training to be Prosperident fraud examiners.  Half have completed their Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation, which is the “gold standard” of fraud examination.
6.  Our examinations are completely stealthy — no one but you will know that we are involved.  Also, normally our investigations are done remotely and without a (probably conspicuous) visit to your office.
7.  We do a lot of speaking, and five members of our team are accomplished speakers.  In a typical year, we do 60 or more speaking engagements — everything from big meetings like the Hinman and Chicago Midwinter to local study clubs.
8.  We offer three products — Diagnostic Examination(for when a dentist wants to know if he or she is being embezzled), Forensic Investigation (for when embezzlement has been confirmed) and Office Protection System, which is a preventative product designed to minimize the probability and impact of future embezzlement.
9.  The most popular section of our website is the Hall of Shame, where we profile over 350 embezzlers.  It’s a great place to look before hiring someone — check it outhere.
10.  Our boss, David Harris, is pretty camera-shy.  He has only allowed himself to be recorded while presenting once.  You can see it here.
I have embezzled over $30,000. What should I do?
There is a website called www.justanswer.com, where people can ask questions of subject area experts. One question that was asked came from someone who said that she had embezzled $30,000 from the dentist for whom she worked, and she was asking an attorney what to do.
It’s an interesting exchange, particularly where she reveals her reasons for embezzling, and that when she had confessed to her doctor, she admitted to stealing just 3% of what she actually took.
You can read the exchange here.
A Note From Our CEO
Something I often get asked is whether more embezzlement takes place when the economy is in trouble.  The answer isn’t a totally simple one, but it does show something interesting about embezzlers, so it is one that I am always happy to address.

An economic downturn puts some people in a financial bind; spouse may lose their jobs, investments devalue and falling housing prices cause homes to be “underwater” or can even make it difficult to obtain mortgage financing.  All of these things exert sufficient financial pressure to cause a small minority of the population to steal.
We refer to this group as “Needy” thieves, and economic conditions certainly increase their numbers.  However, we shouldn’t forget that there is another cohort, which we label as “Greedy”. Unlike the Needy, these people aren’t stealing to survive — they are stealing to purchase luxury items that they feel that they “deserve” but can’t afford on what you pay them.  We’ve watched these people purchase everything from $150,000 automobiles to boats to lavishing expensive gifts on their friends.
Members of this group believe that society (and in particular their employer) underappreciate their talents and value.  Stealing is their way of addressing this perceived inequity and tacitly demonstrating how smart they are.
I’ll mention two things about this group — they seem to be much larger than the Needy — approximately 80% of the embezzlement we find involves Greedy thieves.  Second, the “lifestyle gap” that they perceive widens in a booming economy — they see others “getting ahead” faster than they are, and this motivates them to embezzle.
So, contrary to what you may have thought, we see more embezzlement in a recovering economy than one in downturn, but it involves a different group of embezzlers.
David Harris CPA, CMA, MBA, CFE, CFF
Chief Executive Officer
Prosperident — the world’s largest dental embezzlement investigation firm
Visit our website — www.dentalembezzlement.com

Prosperident Newsletter #34, May 2015

Dental Embezzlement News
Issue #34 –May 2015
Did you miss a previous newsletter? We archive them here.
See Us Live!
Here are some of the places we are speaking soon. We’d love to see you at one of them.
Jul 15 Altura Periodontics, Denver CO
Jul 17 Patterson Dental, Nashville TN
Jul 31 Arkansas Association of Orthodontists, Little Rock AR
Sept 11
Northeastern Society of Orthodontists,
Providence RI
Sept 25 Sikka Summit San Francisco CA
Oct 30 Team Orthodontics, Phoenix AZ
Nov 5
ADA Annual Meeting, Washington DC
Nov 6 Dr. Bruce Fraser Study Club, Columbus OH
Nov 10 Limestone City Study Club, Kingston ON
Nov 13 Academy for Orthodontic Excellence, Newport Beach, CA
Nov 24 Lexington Oral Surgery Study Group, Lexington KY
2016
Jan 15 North Eastern District, Duluth MN
Mar 4 American Academy of Dental Practice Administration, Beverly Hills, CA
Mar 25 Presenting to four study clubs, Plantation FL
May 5 Ontario Dental Association, Toronto ON
Our presentations have great titles like “How To Steal From A dentist” and “How NOT to Hire the Wrong People in your Practice”.
To book a great speaker for your meeting or study club, please send an email here or call us at 888-398-2327.
Prosperident’s Mission
“We eliminate uncertainty for dentists with embezzlement concerns and maximize financial and emotional recovery for victims.”
 
A Promotion!
Scott Clifford, who is one of our “go-to” examiners has been promoted to Supervising Examiner. Scott heads Prosperident’s Special Investigations Department. Congratulations, Scott!
 
This Month in Our Web Store
For the month of June, we have reduced the price of our most popular document, our Embezzlement Risk Assessment Questionnaire from $79 to $49.
The Questionnaire, which takes about 20 minutes to complete, is the most effective method for determining if embezzlement is happening at your office. It focuses on employee behavior, which research suggests is the primary indicator of dental embezzlement.
The price goes back up on July 4, so get yours today here.

A Testimonial

 
Danya Montoya is an advisor working with Jamieson Management. She recently shared a story about how one of our previous articles allowed her to help a client avoid a HUGE hiring mistake. We thought we would share. Let’s hear from Danya:
“One of my clients was in the process of hiring a replacement for an underperforming employee.
“I called the client to check in. He informed me that he had conducted interviews of several candidates. One candidate was exceptional with lots of insurance management, chart auditing skills, Dentrix software knowledge, and amazing collection experience. He was so impressed with her that he hired her on the spot to begin working next week.
“I recalled an article I read from Prosperident (click here to see the article) just minutes before my call. In this newsletter, David Harris spoke of finding the right person and ways to verify they were a good fit. David outlined a few key points like being well dressed, having a resume with no typos, having extensive software knowledge, and wanting to do it their way, as traits of someone who knows how to embezzle. His experience has proven that if all of these key things are in place, that you should really check their background. My client described this candidate using ALL of the above descriptors! I immediately shared the Prosperident newsletter information that I had just read and forwarded the article on to my client. I encouraged him to contact the last place of employment and speak with the doctor to ask if he would hire her again. No other questions, just that one.
“When my client called the previous dentist, he did not even get to ask the question to the doctor. The doctor immediately told my client that he would never hire this woman again. He said he could not go into details but the police were at his office conducting an investigation. My client emailed me letting me know that I “must be psychic” and told me the story of speaking with the past employer.
“I encouraged my client to contact the candidate immediately and retract his offer for employment and let her know that her services were not needed. He was so grateful that I shared that article with him. He was not going to call the past
employer for verification because he was desperate to replace an existing staff member. Foresight was better than hindsight in this case!
“I am proud to have helped my client and to have kept him from a potential disaster! This was HUGE in my book and his.”
Thanks!
Danya Montoya EDDA, CDD, CIS

One of our all-time favorite interviews — listen to one of the smartest guys in dentistry, Gary Takacs, interview Prosperident CEO David Harris click here.
A Note From Our CEO:
I
Test the honesty of your staff?
 
I have seen a few people advocate dentists setting up an “honesty test” for front desk staff. Normally this involves the dentist surreptitiously slipping an extra $50 into the cash drawer to see what happens to it. The theory is simple; if person handling the cash brings the overage to the doctor, they are honest, and if they don’t, they aren’t.
This test suffers from a basic flaw — the inventor understood the thought process of honest people far better than he or she understood thieves.
If I were working at your front desk and noticed an extra $50 in the cash (and I would notice, because thieves almost always have excellent control over cash), the question I would ask myself if what the best way to “invest” the errant $50 would be. Whether I would recognize that I was being tested or not, I would realize that returning this money to you would convince you of my honesty, which will dramatically increase my opportunities for stealing.
Therefore, my “investment” of giving you back the $50 would probably be returned to me hundreds of times. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to find an occasional thief simply returning a small portion of what they have stolen from you as a “cash overage”, with exactly the same effect.
I’ll also make a basic observation about human nature. In general, honest people do not feel a need to tell you how honest they are, and what we call “conspicuous displays of honesty” are a red flag, whether you are observing the behavior of a staff member or buying a car.
So I agree that if you sneak $50 into the cash drawer and it disappears, you have a problem, but in the situation where the $50 is returned, I think that you learned absolutely nothing.
So what does work in controlling embezzlement? Since the majority of embezzlers display at least two “embezzlement-like” behaviors, the best detection tool available is our Embezzlement Risk Assessment Questionnaire. You can get yours here and for the month of June it is available at a reduced price.

Thanks, as always for reading.
S
S

 

David Harris, MBA, CPA, CMA, CFE, CFF
Chief Executive Officer
Prosperident — The world’s largest dental investigation embezzlement firm

Prosperident Newsletter #35, July 2015

Dental Embezzlement News
Issue #35 — July 2015
Did you miss a previous newsletter? We archive them here.
See Us Live!
Here are some of the places we are speaking soon. We’d love to see you at one of them.
Jul 15 Altura Periodontics, Denver CO
Jul 17 Patterson Dental, Nashville TN
Jul 31 Arkansas Association of Orthodontists, Little Rock AR
Sept 11
Northeastern Society of Orthodontists,
Providence RI
Sept 25 Sikka Summit San Francisco CA
Oct 30 Team Orthodontics, Phoenix AZ
Nov 5
ADA Annual Meeting, Washington DC
Nov 6 Dr. Bruce Fraser Study Club, Columbus OH
Nov 10 Limestone City Study Club, Kingston ON
Nov 13 Academy for Orthodontic Excellence, Newport Beach, CA
Nov 24 Lexington Oral Surgery Study Group, Lexington KY
2016
Jan 15 North Eastern District, Duluth MN
Mar 4 American Academy of Dental Practice Administration, Beverly Hills, CA
Mar 25 Presenting to four study clubs, Plantation FL
May 5 Ontario Dental Association, Toronto ON
Our presentations have great titles like “How To Steal From A dentist” and “How NOT to Hire the Wrong People in your Practice”.
To book a great speaker for your meeting or study club, please send an email here or call us at 888-398-2327.
Prosperident’s Mission
“We eliminate uncertainty for dentists with embezzlement concerns and maximize financial and emotional recovery for victims.”
 
Hear David Harris’ podcast interview with The Relentless Dentist called “Are You Employing Criminals?” here.
Take our assessment questionnaire for FREE!
OK — still can’t believe that we are doing this. Our best-selling web store item is our Embezzlement Risk Assessment Questionnaire, which allows dentists to gauge the chance that they are being embezzled. To date, the questionnaire was a paper form that people completed and scored manually.
Our boss has been wanting this converted to an online format — easier to complete, and our big shiny computer can do the scoring.
The online version is finally ready, and the boss told us that he will allow up to 500 dentists to complete it for FREE (we normally sell the questionnaire for $79). It now takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
So this is a great chance to use a state-of-the-art practice assessment tool at no cost whatsoever. The quota will certainly be used up quickly, so don’t dawdle!
You can do the questionnaire here.
A Note From Our CEO:
I
Why didn’t my accountant find the embezzlement?
 
This is a question that we get asked a lot. Most dentists expect their CPA to be on their “front-line” of embezzlement protection. And yet, in a 2007 study by the ADA showed that external accountants discovered less than 9% of embezzlement in dental offices. I think it is safe to conclude that most dentists overestimate the embezzlement protection provided by the accounting relationship.
 
Before you reach the conclusion that CPAs are letting the dental community down (and as a CPA myself, I feel some obligation to defend the accounting profession) let me explain some of the elements of the relationship between dentist and CPA that you might not have considered:
 
Many dentists deal with “generalist” CPAs, who do not specialize in dealing with dentists. While the generalists can bring valuable perspective to your situation, they may not have the basis for comparing your practice to others that a “dental CPA” can.
 
CPAs can perform three different levels of scrutiny and analysis when doing your work. The highest level of assurance is provided by an “audit”. In an audit, your CPA will do sufficient analysis and independent verification to obtain “reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement”. An audit’s primary focus is financial statement integrity, not embezzlement, and while an audit increases the chance of embezzlement detection, this is not the primary focus of an audit. Even so, audits can be expensive, and for that reason, most dental practice owners elect for a lower level of scrutiny; either a “review” or compilation.
 
In a review, the accountant normally performs ratio analysis to obtain “limited assurance” that your statements do not need modifications. In a compilation, which is the most common engagement for dental practices, the CPA simply turns your raw information into financial statements, without any particular scrutiny.
 
So it isn’t that the accountants are asleep at the switch; it’s that most dentists aren’t prepared to pay for any scrutiny of their information from their accountant. And even if they did, there are some further limitations you should consider:
 
Most accountants aren’t well equipped to think like criminals. For most of what they do, this is hardly a character flaw. However, it reduces their ability to spot embezzlement. In general, accountants have limited ability to navigate through your practice management software. Most embezzlement happens inside your software, with a much smaller amount taking place outside your software (such as stealing funds out of your bank deposit.
 
Accountants typically have a strong seasonal pattern to their workflow, and most dentists interact at their CPA’s busiest time of year. This limits the amount of mental energy and proactivity that your accountant can offer you.
 
We have the privilege of working with some truly excellent CPA firms, and I am quick to defend the accounting profession against the sometimes unrealistic expectations of its clients. The lesson here is to ensure that you and your accountant understand each other; accountants are happy to accept a mandate to provide higher assurance about your financial statements, but you have to mandate them to do so and be prepared to pay for it.
I’ve said it before — your best defense against embezzlement is to watch employee behavior closely. Our Embezzlement Risk Assessment Questionnaire is free for a short time — click here to find out how at-risk your practice is.
 
S

 

David Harris, MBA, CPA, CMA, CFE, CFF
Chief Executive Officer
Prosperident — The world’s largest dental investigation embezzlement firm

Prosperident Newsletter #36, Aug 2015

Dental Embezzlement News
Issue #36 — August 2015
Did you miss a previous newsletter? We archive them here.
See Us Live!
Here are some of the places we are speaking soon. We’d love to see you at one of them.
Sept 11
Northeastern Society of Orthodontists,
Providence RI
Sept 11 Davis Dental Lab, Wyoming MI
Sept 15 Limestone City Study Club, Kingston ON
Sept 17 Windy City Study Club, Elmwood Park IL
Sept 25 Sikka Summit San Francisco CA
Oct 30 Team Orthodontics, Phoenix AZ
Nov 5
ADA Annual Meeting, Washington DC
Nov 6 Dr. Bruce Fraser Study Club, Columbus OH
Nov 11 Yakima Valley Dental Society, Yakima WA
Nov 13 Academy for Orthodontic Excellence, Newport Beach, CA
Nov 24 Lexington Oral Surgery Study Group, Lexington KY
Dec 1 American Association of Orthodontist, webinar
2016
Jan 15 North Eastern District, Duluth MN
Jan 22 Long Island Dental Forum, Hauppage, NY
Feb 27 Ortho2 User Group Meeting, Las Vegas NV
Mar 4 American Academy of Dental Practice Administration, Beverly Hills, CA
Mar 25 Presenting to four study clubs, Plantation FL
May 5 Ontario Dental Association, Toronto ON
May 29 Journees dentiare internationales du Quebec, Montreal QC
Our presentations have great titles like “How To Steal From A dentist” and “How NOT to Hire the Wrong People in your Practice”.
To book a great speaker for your meeting or study club, please click here or call us at 888-398-2327.
Prosperident’s Mission
“We eliminate uncertainty for dentists with embezzlement concerns and maximize financial and emotional recovery for victims.”
 
See David Harris’ video interview with Dr. Suham Alexander of the Canadian Dental Association here.
EXTENDED — Take our assessment questionnaire for FREE!
Our last offer to take our Embezzlement Risk Assessment Questionnaire (which normally sells for $79) for FREE sold out quickly, so the boss agreed to extend the offer until the end of August.
The Questionnaire takes ten minutes or less to complete, and is the most reliable indicator of whether a dentist has an embezzlement issue.
You can take the Questionnaire by clicking here. We will email you back with your score and our recommendations.
A Note From Our CEO:
I
Why does it take YEARS for someone who embezzles to go to jail?
 
Something that surprises victims is the painful slowness with which the justice system operates. Many victims expect, on making a complaint, that the police to immediately appear at their office or the suspect’s home and remove them in handcuffs. What actually happens is quite different.
 
Before they arrest someone, the police need to investigate. In a complex white collar crime like embezzlement, few police departments have the expertise to analyze transactions conducted in practice management software, so they normally wait for us to complete our investigation and provide them with a report. Using our report as a starting point, they will then conduct their own investigation, which might include questioning the suspect, interviewing witnesses and possibly compelling banks to supply information on transactions through the suspect’s account.
 
Every police department exists in a climate of limited resources, so it must determine its priorities. As you might expect, public pressure to deal with violent crime often diverts resources away from non-violent crime like embezzlement. As a result, it might take six months or more after you have made a complaint before a detective is assigned, and then several more months before their investigation is complete. Then the detective will review his or her findings with their supervisor to make a decision about whether there is sufficient evidence to meet with the District Attorney or US Attorney about moving the case into the court system.

As a result, it may take a year or so after police work is complete before an accused steps into a courtroom and an equal amount of time for someone to be tried, convicted, and sentenced. So the entire process may take 3-4 years to conclude, and as I mentioned first-time offenders often receive seemingly light sentences. While I share the frustration of many victims about the speed and end results, I also understand the reasons why the system functions as it does, and how unlikely these factors are to change.
If you have embezzlement concerns about your practice, a great place to start is to take our Embezzlement Risk Assessment Questionnaire, which is free until the end of August. Please click here to be taken to the Questionnaire. It’s now quicker than ever to complete the Questionnaire, and investing a few minutes of your time can save you a bundle.
Regards,
 

 

David Harris, MBA, CPA, CMA, CFE, CFF
Chief Executive Officer
Prosperident — The world’s largest dental investigation embezzlement firm

Prosperident Newsletter #37, Sept 2015

Prosperident’s Dental Embezzlement News
Issue #37 — September 2015
Did you miss a previous newsletter? We archive them here.
See Us Live!
Here are some of the places we are speaking soon. We’d love to see you at one of them.
Sept 11
Northeastern Society of Orthodontists,
Providence RI
Sept 11 Davis Dental Lab, Wyoming MI
Sept 15 Limestone City Study Club, Kingston ON
Sept 17 Windy City Study Club, Elmwood Park IL
Sept 25 Sikka Summit San Francisco CA
Oct 30 Team Orthodontics, Phoenix AZ
Nov 5
ADA Annual Meeting, Washington DC
Nov 6 Dr. Bruce Fraser Study Club, Columbus OH
Nov 11 Yakima Valley Dental Society, Yakima WA
Nov 13 Academy for Orthodontic Excellence, Newport Beach, CA
Nov 24 Lexington Oral Surgery Study Group, Lexington KY
Dec 1 American Association of Orthodontist, webinar
2016
Jan 15 North Eastern District, Duluth MN
Jan 22 Long Island Dental Forum, Hauppage, NY
Jan 28 Topsfest, Atlanta
Feb 27 Ortho2 User Group Meeting, Las Vegas NV
Mar 4 American Academy of Dental Practice Administration, Beverly Hills, CA
Mar 23 Oral and Dental Implant Surgery, Pittsfield MA
Mar 25 Presenting to four study clubs, Plantation FL
May 5 Ontario Dental Association, Toronto ON
May 29 Journees dentiare internationales du Quebec, Montreal QC
Coming soon The Thomas P. Hinman Meeting, Atlanta

Chicago Midwinter Meeting, Chicago

Our presentations have great titles like “How To Steal From A dentist” and “How NOT to Hire the Wrong People in your Practice”.
To book a great speaker for your meeting or study club, please click here or call us at 888-398-2327.
Prosperident’s Mission
“We eliminate uncertainty for dentists with embezzlement concerns and maximize financial and emotional recovery for victims.”
 
A promotion!
Prosperident’s CEO once described hiring Wendy Chediac as “the best hiring decision we ever made”. Her role in improving the company’s efficiency has been huge. So we are pleased to announce her promotion to Vice President Investigations, overseeing all of Prosperident’s examinations. Congratulations, Wendy!
EXTENDED — Take our assessment questionnaire for FREE!
Our recent offer to take our Embezzlement Risk Assessment Questionnaire (which normally sells for $79) for FREE ended on Labor Day (when hopefully many of you were away from the office), so the boss agreed to extend the offer until September 15, 2015. So you have one last chance to take the Questionnaire for FREE.
Completion takes ten minutes or less and the Questionnaire is the most reliable indicator of whether a dentist faces an embezzlement issue.
You can take the Questionnaire by clicking here. We will email you back with your score and our recommendations.

Are Criminals Running your Practice? Dr. Mark Costes chats with Prosperident CEO David Harris

Hear Author, speaker, dental business coach and practicing dentist Dr. Mark Costes interview David here.
The Dentalpreneur Podcast w/ Dr. Mark Costes – Become More Profitable, Less Stressed and More Fulfilled in Your Dental Career
A Note From Our CEO:
I
Welcome Back!
With summer vacations now a fading memory for most of us, the kids back in school, cottages closed up etc., it’s time to turn our minds back to our practices.
We have had a busy summer here at Prosperident — we completed a major upgrade of our computer systems that increased our computing power by about 500%. We also are in the process of implementing some new software that will help us do our work better and more quickly. And to top it off, our active case load this summer was more than 30% higher than at the same time last year.
To keep up with the workload, we have also been busy hiring and training people to add to our workforce, and I have been very pleased with the caliber of the people we have been able to attract. I’ll be telling you more about them in future newsletters.
One final development that I am excited about is that we have been working with a company that has been developing software that will be of tremendous value to dentists in protecting themselves from embezzlement. I can’t say much more right now, but the software is currently in the final testing stages and should be released to the market in the very near future.
So there are lots of exciting things happening here. It meant that most of us got less time at the beach this summer than we had hoped, but for some very good causes.
Now that we are back in focus, it’s time to talk about that nasty concept, embezzlement. With 8-10% of dental practices in the US and Canada being embezzled each year, all dentists need to be aware of the possibility that you may be a victim.
A fantastic diagnostic tool is our Embezzlement Risk Assessment Questionnaire, which is free until the middle of September. Every practicing dentist should do this basic check.
Please click here to be taken to the Questionnaire. It’s now quicker than ever to complete, and investing a few minutes of your time can save you both money and heartache.
 
Regards,
 

 

David Harris, MBA, CPA, CMA, CFE, CFF
Chief Executive Officer
Prosperident — The world’s largest dental investigation embezzlement firm

Prosperident Newsletter #38, Oct 2015

Prosperident’s Dental Embezzlement News
Issue #38 — October 2015
Did you miss a previous newsletter? We archive them here.
See Us Live!
Here are some of the places we are speaking soon. We’d love to see you at one of them.
Oct 30 Foothills Study Club, Phoenix AZ
Nov 5
ADA Annual Meeting, Washington DC
Nov 6 Dr. Bruce Fraser Study Club, Columbus OH
Nov 11 Yakima Valley Dental Society, Yakima WA
Nov 13 Academy for Orthodontic Excellence, Newport Beach, CA
Dec 1 American Association of Orthodontists, webinar
2016
Jan 15 North Eastern District, Duluth MN
Jan 22 Long Island Dental Forum, Hauppauge, NY
Jan 28 Topsfest, Atlanta
Feb 27 Ortho2 User Group Meeting, Las Vegas NV
Mar 4 American Academy of Dental Practice Administration, Beverly Hills, CA
Mar 23 Oral and Dental Implant Surgery, Pittsfield MA
Mar 25 Presenting to four study clubs, Plantation FL
May 5 Ontario Dental Association, Toronto ON
May 29 Journees dentiare internationales du Quebec, Montreal QC
Coming soon The Thomas P. Hinman Meeting, Atlanta

Chicago Midwinter Meeting, Chicago

Our presentations have great titles like “How To Steal From A dentist” and “How NOT to Hire the Wrong People in your Practice”.
To book a great speaker for your meeting or study club, please click here or call us at 888-398-2327.
Prosperident’s Mission
“We eliminate uncertainty for dentists with embezzlement concerns and maximize financial and emotional recovery for victims.”
 
What is “Litigation Support”?
Prosperident’s Senior Examiner Annie Joseph was on her way to a career as an attorney when she got bitten by the investigation bug. Annie now heads our Litigation Support department, with the role of gathering information used in litigation matters.
Examples include working for buyers of practices who believe that facts were misrepresented, assisting with disputes between dentists in group practices and dealing with “covenant breaches”.
Annie’s law degree and Master of Science in Fraud and Forensics make her ideal for this work.

Are You Getting Embezzled? Dr. Howard Farran interviews Prosperident CEO David Harris

Hear Dentaltown’s CEO Howard Farran, one of the most interesting guys in dentistry, interview David here.
EXTENDED — Take our assessment questionnaire for FREE!
Our recent offer to take our Embezzlement Risk Assessment Questionnaire (which normally sells for $79) for FREE ended on September 15. However, response was so good that the boss agreed to extend the grace period until the end of October.
Completion takes ten minutes or less and the Questionnaire is the most reliable indicator of whether a dentist faces an embezzlement issue.
You can take the Questionnaire by clicking here. We will quickly email you back with your score, what it means, and our recommendations for action.
A Note From Our CEO:
I
Big Announcement!
In previous newsletters, I have dropped a couple of hints about this, but now it’s time to fill you in on an exciting development.
For many years we have seen the need for some technological assistance to help dentists monitor their practices for embezzlement. Without this help, monitoring is a daunting task and is frequently done poorly or not at all.
In the last few years, there have been a couple of entrants into the monitoring market, but the software that they work with is limited, and the monitoring software is still maturing. And while we have been pleased to support these options, we have continued to pine for the next generation of monitoring software.
We were thrilled to be approached over a year ago by a company with a strong background in software development. This company shared our vision to develop advanced and innovative practice monitoring software. Our team of embezzlement experts quickly meshed with their cadre of software developers, and Shieldr was conceived. It developed into a product that can not only provide sophisticated monitoring for embezzlement, but also identify other types of revenue “leakage”, and can measurably reduce a doctor’s time in managing his or her office. This time saving alone more than justifies Shieldr’s modest monthly cost.
Shieldr is currently being beta tested in a small number of offices and is expected to be generally available within the next month. You learn more about the product by going to Shieldr’s web site at www.shieldr.com.
Shieldr will also be exhibiting at major dental shows over the next several months, and if you are going to the ADA, Greater NY, Yankee Dental or Chicago Midwinter conferences, please be sure to stop by the Shieldr booth. Who knows — you might even see me there.
 
Regards,
 

 

David Harris, MBA, CPA, CMA, CFE, CFF
Chief Executive Officer
Prosperident — The world’s largest dental investigation embezzlement firm

Prosperident News #39, Nov 2015

Prosperident’s Dental Embezzlement News
Issue #39 — November 2015
Did you miss a previous newsletter? We archive them here.
See Us Live!
Here are some of the places we are speaking soon. We’d love to see you at one of them.
Nov 11 Yakima Valley Dental Society, Yakima WA
Nov 13 Academy for Orthodontic Excellence, Newport Beach, CA
Dec 1 American Association of Orthodontists, webinar
2016
Jan 15 North Eastern District, Duluth MN
Jan 22 Long Island Dental Forum, Hauppauge, NY
Jan 28 Topsfest, Atlanta
Feb 27 Ortho2 User Group Meeting, Las Vegas NV
Mar 4 American Academy of Dental Practice Administration, Beverly Hills, CA
Mar 23 Oral and Dental Implant Surgery, Pittsfield MA
Mar 25 Presenting to four study clubs, Plantation FL
May 5 Ontario Dental Association, Toronto ON
May 29 Journees dentiare internationales du Quebec, Montreal QC
Coming soon The Thomas P. Hinman Meeting, Atlanta

Chicago Midwinter Meeting, Chicago

Our presentations have great titles like “How To Steal From A dentist” and “How NOT to Hire the Wrong People in your Practice”.
To book a great speaker for your meeting or study club, please click here or call us at 888-398-2327.
Prosperident’s Mission
“We eliminate uncertainty for dentists with embezzlement concerns and maximize financial and emotional recovery for victims.”
 
What is “Special Investigations”?
Scott Clifford had spent his adult life in dental offices when he and Prosperident found each other. He quickly proved himself both a brilliant investigator and a willing and patient mentor to Prosperident’s team.
Scott now holds an enviable position — he oversees Prosperident’s Special Investigations group, which handles some of our most complex files (including spouses embezzling from dentists, and dentists in group practices embezzling from each other).
SI is the place where “the unusual is a daily occurrence, and the unimaginable happens about once a month”.
Scott’s wife Rose is also now working with us, and we expect that it his genius-IQ daughter will eventually feel the calling.

Eight Things Dentists Misunderstand About Embezzlement

A common topic for our speakers is what dentists misunderstand about embezzlement. Here is our list:
MYTH #1 — Embezzlers only steal cash, and it is difficult for thieves to monetize other forms of payment.
FACT — It is simple for a thief to turn a check, credit card payment or even an electronic funds transfer into cash.
MYTH # 2 — Embezzlement can’t be happening in my practice because my daysheet always balances to my bank deposit.
FACT
–Embezzlers have gotten good at “cooking” your daysheet so that it
balances to what is left after they steal. The only thing that your daysheet and deposit being equal means is that your thief can add.
MYTH #3 — Most embezzlement is caused by making hiring mistakes.
FACT
— While it is true that “serial embezzlers”
usually can easily find
work in a new dental office, the vast majority of our casework involves
long-term employees who have decided to start embezzling.
MYTH #4 — If embezzlement is happening, my accountant will spot it.
FACT
— in a 2007 study of embezzlement, the American Dental Association
found that less than 15% of embezzlement was identified by accountants.
This is not the result of any failing on their part — most dentists
ask the lowest cost mandate, and this means that the accountants are
doing accounting but no analysis.
TO BE CONTINUED NEXT MONTH…

Financial automation and protection for dentists
A Note From Our CEO:
I
Six things you may not know about Prosperident
We talk about embezzlement quite a bit, but we are sometimes a bit shy when it comes to talking about ourselves. Here are a few things you may not know about us:
1. We did our first investigation in 1989 (on a manual “peg-board” system), before we had a cell phone or an internet connection. We have grown a lot since then in both size and technology.
2. We only investigate dental embezzlement and do not assist physicians, physical therapists or anyone else.
3. Everyone who works here has a dental background. 20% of Prosperident’s people have at least one parent who is a dentist.
4. Our work is completely stealthy and is normally done through the Cloud — it is rare that we need to be physically present when we are doing an investigation.
5. Our head office is located in Nova Scotia, Canada (known as “Canada’s Ocean Playground”), but more than 60% of our work force lives in the US, and is spread out across both coasts and the middle. We have team members on both coasts, some who inexplicably do not live near an ocean.
6. We offer four kinds of help to dentists:
  • ● We work with dentists who have already confirmed embezzlement to find out what happened and maximize recovery.
  • We assist dentists who have concerns that embezzlement may be happening in their practices.
  • ● We work with dentists who want a “prophylactic” look at their practices to make sure that embezzlement isn’t happening.
  • ● We review control systems in use in an office to identify where improvement can be made.

Please feel free to call us (our toll-free phone number is 888-398-2327) if you think that we can help you.

Regards,
 

 

David Harris, MBA, CPA, CMA, CFE, CFF
Chief Executive Officer
Prosperident — The world’s largest dental investigation embezzlement firm