David Harris speaking at Orthopreneurs Summit in June 2018

Prosperident CEO David Harris is thrilled to be a speaker at the 2018 Orthopreneurs Summit in Dallas in June 2018.  Here is a brief video made by Orthopreneurs founder Dr. Glenn Krieger discussing David’s presentation.

For more information, or to register, please click on the following link:


Embezzlement in the Orthodontic Practice by Wendy Askins

Prosperident’s Wendy Askins is one of our most experienced investigators.  She heads our orthodontic / oral surgery group, and conducts some of our most challenging investigations.  She has both an MBA and the Certified Fraud Examiner designation.  So Wendy definitely knows her stuff.

In Wendy’s February 2018 article in Orthotown Magazine, she shares some of her considerable accumulated wisdom on the topic of embezzlement.  Don’t let the orthodontic title fool you — Wendy’s information is applicable to all practices.

Wendy Askins Orthotown article Feb 2018

David Harris interviewed by syndicated columnist Dennis Beaver

Bakersfield, California attorney Dennis Beaver writes a syndicated column called You and the Law that appears in many newspapers around the US.  Dennis has interviewed David Harris before (see https://www.prosperident.com/david-harris-interviewed-syndicated-columnist-dennis-beaver/.

Dennis recently did another interview with David.  You can read it here:

You and the Law: How to view risk of employee embezzlement

Are there steps that employers can take which will help reduce the chances of becoming the victim of embezzlement by employees? The answer, which comes to us from the far off Canadian city of Halifax, is a qualified yes, and as you will see, requires, initially, that employers adopt a different attitude about trust.

David Harris knows a lot about employers, trust and employees who steal. As chief executive officer of Prosperident, the world’s largest firm specializing in the investigation of financial crimes committed against dentists, he understands the way human nature gives criminals an advantage: “It is the failure to re-visit the trust placed in your employees.”

Harris observes that when we first meet someone, “The decision to trust is made early in the relationship. Research shows it is the product of our brain reaching that conclusion based on rapid comparisons to other people we have met and trusted.

“And most of the time, day in and day out, as things in the office go along smoothly, the decision to trust remains permanent. We never again ask, ‘Can I trust Peggy?’

Harris is a captivating seminar leader, so for a moment, picture yourself listening attentively, when grabs your full attention by saying:

“I do not care how impressed you were with Peggy when she was first hired. Ask yourself, ‘While initially I trusted her, does that trust merit being re-examined as opposed to being something permanent which will not change, no matter what?”

You are thinking, “That never occurred to me. Why should I suddenly doubt Peggy? She’s been with me all these years.”

Then he explains why you must question the basis for your continued trust in Peggy and why blind trust is so dangerous:

“The fact that you trusted an employee 10 years ago does not mean that you should blindly trust them today. You absolutely must ask:

“1) Has Peggy’s living situation changed?

“2) Is she in financial trouble?

“3) Has she developed addiction to drugs, gambling, or does she have family members hitting on her for money? If she does, how could that impact my business?”

Harris finds that, “Employers in general do not know their staff well enough. Emotionally they see them as furniture, not noticing much about their personal lives. They are often in the dark as to an employee’s financial circumstances or other issues which could threaten the business if this person decided to steal.”

So, how can an employer can get to better know employees without prying into personal things?

“I tell dentists that getting to know your staff better is a realization that this is a whole person, and not just two arms that hand me instruments. Understanding what makes your employees tick is essential to being a good employer. You should know why they got into this field, and what they like and do not like about their job. That’s a vital part of being their boss.

“This isn’t intrusive,” Harris maintains, adding, “You need to engage in meaningful conversation. I find that many employers are not good active listeners.”

Harris believes strongly that the best way for any employer to minimize theft is to “Stop it at the door through your hiring process.”

He notes that “65 million Americans have a criminal record. That’s one in four adults. Add to that the fact that between 40 percent and 70 percent of resumes have some amount of misleading information, it is clear that hiring is a potential minefield.”

We all know that applying for a job at FedEx requires a drug test, but as Harris observes, “Most dental offices do not require a drug test, nor do they run adequate background checks. It simply does not occur to many employers that someone will lie on an application to hide an unsavory past.

“The last step in the hiring process must include a criminal records check, performed not by some $20 online website, but by a professional service,” he strongly recommends.

Can any employer become “bulletproof?” David Harris provides the answer:

“There are employers who believe that something in their circumstances makes them bulletproof. A classic example is thinking, ‘This is a big city problem, but I am safe because I live in a small town.’

“However, embezzlers do not think the same way.”

Dennis Beaver practices law in Bakersfield and welcomes comments and questions from readers, which may be faxed to 661-323-7993, or emailed to Lagombeaver1@gmail.com. And be sure to visit dennisbeaver.com.

Content retrieved from: http://www.redwoodtimes.com/article/NK/20171009/LOCAL1/171009985

See Prosperident’s Pink Collar Crime Expert Kelly Paxton interviewed

Kelly Paxton is an amazing lady.  She is a world-renowned expert in the area of embezzlement committed by female perpetrators, for which Kelly has coined the phrase “Pink Collar Crime”.  She is in demand as a writer and speaker on this topic, and this focus has made her a natural fit for Prosperident — it certainly hasn’t escaped our notice that the vast majority of embezzlement in dental practices is perpetrated by female embezzlers.

Kelly was recently interviewed by our friend Debbie Seidel Bitke of Dental Practice Solutions and dental CPA Doug Fettig of Aldrich CPAs.  Check out the great interview:


Dr. Pat Little speaking about the indicia of embezzlement in a dental practice

Prosperident’s Senior Examiner Dr. Pat Little discusses the “red flags” that may alert a practice owner to the fact that embezzlement is taking place.

Would you like to book Pat as a speaker?  Check out his speaker’s page HERE


Prosperident’s Dr. Pat Little profiled in Dentist’s Money Digest

Dentist Puts Lid on Fraud and Embezzlement

According to Pat Little, D.D.S., F.A.G.D., C.F.E., embezzlement can affect between 3 and 5 percent of a dental practice’s revenue. Little knows a thing or two about that, and he has dedicated himself to helping dentists avoid pitfalls that can lead to fraud and embezzlement. Unfortunately, when it comes to dental practice embezzlement, it’s often more senior employees that you need to keep an eye one, Little says.
Ed Rabinowitz
PUBLISHED: Thursday, April 20, 2017


Pat Little, D.D.S., F.A.G.D., C.F.E., knows something about promotion. That was the biggest challenge he faced early in his career when launching two dental practices from scratch.

“How do you let people know that you’re out there and available,” Little recalls thinking.

Having been raised in a small town, Little looked to establish his practices in similar Georgia locations. And in small towns, word travels quickly.

“It would have been much more difficult if I tried to do that in a large city,” he acknowledges. “But I didn’t want to buy a practice and go immediately into debt. I just felt more comfortable building something on my own.”Today, as a senior fraud examiner for Prosperident, Little conducts embezzlement examinations on behalf of dentists and advises them on matters related to fraud and embezzlement. In other words, he helps dentists “keep what they have built.”

When Little had to discontinue clinical dentistry due to disability, he enrolled at Kennesaw State University where he began his accounting and general business education. He goal was to become a dental CPA. But after working in public accounting, he decided it wasn’t the field for him.

“I didn’t like taxes and all the things that go with public accounting,” Little says.

But when one of his clients was embezzled, it opened his eyes to the sizeable problem dental practices face. According to Little, two out of every three dental practices will experience fraud and/or embezzlement.

“As a dentist, our primary job function is providing healthcare, so we’re not trained to be business people,” Little says. “We work all day in the back treating patients, so we have to delegate a lot of our duties to someone working up front. So there’s almost a separation between the dentist and the front team member. If the right systems aren’t put into place, it opens up the door for someone to take advantage of the doctor’s trust.”

Serial embezzlers, the type that move from one employer to another, are in the minority, Little says. Most dental practice embezzlers are senior employees who have earned the doctor’s trust and respect, so more responsibility is delegated their way.

“Most embezzlers start off honest,” Little says. “Then something just happens where they take advantage of all the trust that has been placed in them.”

Little says he went to dental school to become a dentist. That was his training. When his chosen career path was no longer an option, it was a bit shocking.

“I was in my 40s at that point,” he recalls. “So I was well into my professional career. It’s always a challenge at that age to completely reverse and find something new. That was the most stressful, taking that deep breath and figuring out what to do.”

Returning to college to obtain his accounting degree at age 47 was a culture shock, Little says, adding that he was old enough to be the father of many of his classmates.


“My kids were that age,” he laughs. “But I have that analytical personality. It’s something I don’t regret doing.”

Challenges abound in fraud and embezzlement as well. Little explains that most dental practice fraud doesn’t usually involve dollar amounts that reach into the hundreds of thousands. But when the dollar amounts are smaller, they can often be more difficult to detect.

“A smart embezzler will always keep their embezzlement at a low level, because that’s how they avoid being detected,” Little says. “That’s how they move the needle.”

The typical embezzlement tends to be around 3 to 5 percent of the practice’s collections, Little says. That’s the area where the dentist will first notice cash flow issues. If the employee is disciplined enough to stay below 3 percent, they can prolong the embezzlement for a fair amount of time.

“(The embezzler) can earn a pretty good living at that 2 to 3 percent mark,” Little says. “But what happens is they get greedy. They get away with it for a while and they take more chances, and that’s when the doctor notices.”

The main goal of embezzlement examinations, Little explains, is to confirm whether or not any fraud or embezzlement is occurring. If there isn’t any illicit activity, it’s important to understand what made the dentist think there was. Recommendations can then be made to change some practice procedures.

“If it is occurring, we want to let the doctor know why it happened, who’s doing it, what the technique is, and what the doctor’s options are as far as whether the doctor wants to press criminal charges, file a civil suit,” Little says.

It’s also critical that no one from Prosperident step foot in the doctor’s office during an embezzlement examination.

“Everything is done remotely,” Little explains. “We want to make sure the suspect has absolutely no idea that an investigation is being conducted.”

Little says that although he’s had to discontinue clinical dentistry, it’s still very rewarding knowing that he’s serving his profession. He understands where his dental colleagues are coming from; that they went to dental school to become dentists. If he can do something to help them run their practices a little better, or keep them out of trouble, that’s his reward.

“One of the things I hear from conference participants when I lecture is they feel comfortable talking to a dentist, because I know exactly what they’ve been through,” Little says. “It gives me a unique perspective.”

And that’s Little’s approach. He knows the field, he knows the jargon. He puts himself in the dentist’s position to better understand where he or she is coming from.

“It helps that we come from the same backgrounds.”

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

– See more at: http://www.dmdtoday.com/news/dentist-puts-lid-on-fraud-and-embezzlement#sthash.GcEWeU5N.dpuf