Prosperident’s David Harris Featured in Dental Economics


I recently received the following email from a dentist: “My embezzler passed my references check. I asked for six references, and she passed with flying colors… and then proceeded to rob me blind. I thought that maybe y’all needed to make a post about it, or SOMETHING, to the world of dentistry, because seriously, this is why we can’t trust references. When people fabricate deception like this, how can we trust anything, as employers, to be able to find someone worthy of hiring?”

The dentist was referring to a website that, for a fee, will supply false references to help someone pass reference checks. Here is what one such site claims:

“Paladin Deception Services is here to assist you in obtaining the fictitious reference, the little white lie, or the alibi that you need. Our agency can provide you with either male or female testimonials over the phone in the local area code that you require. We’re confidential, professional, innovative, and affordable. Most importantly, we keep it legal. Get the verification that you need!”


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.


David Harris interviewed by syndicated columnist Dennis Beaver Oct 2017


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

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 And be sure to visit

Content retrieved from

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 perpetrators at low organizational levels, 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: