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Asked on justanswer.com -- I have embezzled over $30,000 from a dental practice that I worked in. What should I do?

May 06, 2024

Here is a conversation between an anonymous person and an attorney at justanswer.com. Note how the thief confesses to under-reporting the amount stolen to her dentist. I have embezzled over $30,000 from a dental practice that I worked in. I want to repay it. I have

It’s Not Just Cash That Gets Embezzled!!

May 03, 2023

We live in a society that is becoming increasingly “cashless.” The convenience of using debit and credit cards for transactions started the trend.

Is there a psychological test that will allow you to flag employee dishonesty?

January 21, 2023

We recently were asked this question by a dentist and thought that discussion of psychological testing for dishonesty is something that we should address.

Electronic Funds Transfers – 7 Reasons they are Dangerous

November 26, 2022

Both insurance companies and dental practices have long appreciated the convenience of electronic funds transfers as a method of payment.

The Coming Storm

October 22, 2022

The chorus in the financial press is growing that a storm of recession is on the horizon. Inflation has been described as “too much money chasing too few goods.”

“Call the Police” and Other Myths of White Collar Crime.

May 30, 2022

Should I call the police if I think I have been embezzled? I have recently been involved in a couple of Facebook discussions that had a common element that I wanted to share with you.

The Ugliest Filling Ever

May 10, 2022

Let’s think about the control systems in place in your practice. Everything from the “balancing” done by staff at the end of each day to what you as a practice owner review to how the burglar alarm in your practice operates.

Own Your Stuff! Practice Financial Management

December 23, 2021

Dental practice financial management requires a practice owner to have some involvement in the financial operations of their practice.

Hiring Properly in a Tight Labor Market – 6 strategies

September 03, 2021

A common theme at conferences and in dental media lately is a shortage of people to hire ,and hiring properly has become a high challenge.

My Office Manager Quit Suddenly. I’m Devastated. Now What? 3 things to know

August 30, 2021

Sooner or later, every practice owner receives this unwelcome news. Your office manager quits suddenly. He or she is the key to the smooth functioning of your office.

The “Policy Vacuum”

July 30, 2021

Our CEO once said that embezzlers will happily fill gaps in a practice’s policies to their advantage. So what are these policy vacuums, and how do embezzlers exploit them?

A Whistleblower Policy Can Increase Your Chances of Staff Coming Forward With Concerns About Embezzlement!

May 29, 2021

We have noticed an interesting phenomenon in dentistry. When you look at all types of business in aggregate, “whistleblowers” are responsible for detecting 43% of embezzlement.

The Dangers of Virtual Credit Cards

May 19, 2021

Some insurance companies make payments to practices by creating virtual credit cards with credit balances and then providing the card numbers.

I’m a New Practice Owner. What Should I be Doing to Protect My Practice?

April 29, 2021

Embezzlement protection involves a few big steps and a lot of small items, and they can seem daunting for a new practice owner. For this post, let’s address the big items.

How Secure is my Practice Management Software?

October 28, 2020

Is there a brand of practice management software that is better at protecting a doctor against embezzlement? What is the most secure software?

How Big Is the Embezzlement Problem? Almost 50% of dentists have already been victims of employee theft

September 30, 2020

Embezzlement has been around since the beginning of recorded history.

Profiles of Embezzlers – 2 Traits of Those Who Steal Your Money

August 30, 2020

Like every private investigator, I consider myself an armchair psychologist. From my observation, many Greedy thieves display sociopathic characteristics and also markers of a narcissist.

Protect Yourself As an Associate Dentist

August 17, 2020

While most of this website is oriented towards owners of dental practices, we would be remiss if we didn’t address the topic of associate dentists.

Delegation versus Abdication

July 20, 2020

Delegation is essential to the financial well-being of a practice. The existence of well-trained clinical and administrative staff allows a practice’s doctors to focus on their unique (and high value) competencies. The concept of clinical delegation is well-understood by dentists and is something first encountered in dental school.

The Danger Of References

June 20, 2020

What would you recommend doing to check employment?

Reconcile or Reckless? You Choose!

June 01, 2020

(Editor’s note — the concepts for this article were first presented in a webinar presented by the authors in May 2020. When someone wants to embezzle from you, their approach is predictable. Thieves begin by asking themselves whether the reconciliation process used in your practice is thorough and complete.

2019 ADA Survey Addresses How Dentists Discover Embezzlement

May 30, 2020

The American Dental Association’s Council on Dental Practice recently released the results of a survey completed last year on embezzlement.

Month-end Reconciliations – A Masterclass in 6 easy steps

May 19, 2020

Thorough month-end reconciliations are critical to uncover revenue anomalies, errors, and embezzlement.

ADA says Embezzlement is Increasing

May 01, 2020

The American Dental Association’s Council on Dental Practice recently released the results of a survey completed last year that show that dental practice embezzlement is increasing.

Deleted Transactions — Hidden Gems

February 10, 2020

Deleted transactions are overlooked and ignored to our detriment. One must purposely seek to find these hidden gems to uncover the dark stories they tell.

Daily Balancing – the Right Way

January 26, 2020

Everyone knows that daily balancing is a key safeguard for your practice’s finances, but there is very little information available to a dentist on how to do it properly.

Practice Management Software can Lie

December 30, 2019

A dentist in a Facebook forum states that embezzlement cannot be happening in his or her practice because they “check their practice management software daysheet every single day.”

Embezzlement In Orthodontic Practices – Make Sense of the Mess and Avoid a $100,000 headache

October 30, 2019

Embezzlement in orthodontic practices takes place with more frequency than in general dental practices.

How to Read a Resume Critically to Avoid a Critical Hiring Mistake – 20% of Embezzlers Have Done It Before!

September 26, 2019

It continues to amaze us that the people who we refer to as “serial embezzlers” continue to find jobs in dental practices.

I Live in California, and I Have Been Told That I Can no Longer Check Criminal Records When Hiring. Is this true?

September 26, 2019

No — you can check criminal records. California is one of 13 “Ban the Box” states.

Trust, Then Verify; Systems That Win

March 29, 2019

The following is an excerpt from David Harris’ upcoming book on protecting yourself from embezzlement. Stay tuned for the book release.

Why do People Steal from Dentists? 3 Preconditions Exist

February 27, 2019

One of the most frequent comments we hear once the identity of an embezzler is confirmed is that he or she is “the last person I could imagine stealing”.

“My Day-end Report Balances to my Deposit, so I Must Be Safe From Embezzlement”

January 30, 2019

We hear this a lot from people discussing embezzlement with us. They say that they always check that their day-end report balances to their deposit.

Why Caution Is Needed When Checking References

November 05, 2018

Reference Check Essentials: Helping You Master Your Hiring Process

Is it Worse to be Robbed or Embezzled?

September 18, 2018

Prosperident’s Kelly Paxton is a thought leader in the area of “pink collar crime.” She recently wrote a thought-provoking article on whether embezzlement was more damaging than street crime.

Importance of Investigators in Criminal Cases

September 20, 2017

When the general public thinks of a private investigator, they may think of common situations in which a PI is hired, including divorce and insurance fraud.

Why didn’t my accountant find the embezzlement?

August 10, 2017

My accountants just did my year-end three months ago. How could they possibly miss the embezzlement that Prosperident found?

Is my practice immune from embezzlement? 70% of dentists will be embezzled by staff

July 03, 2017

“I live in a small town…” I’m not referring to the catchy John Mellencamp tune of the 1980s (although I did like the song).

Why Dentists Hire Badly

May 01, 2017

Our June 2017 Newsletter’s guest columnist Laura Hatch nailed it in her article on hiring when she says that dentists HATE the process of hiring staff.

Garnisheed wages – I just hired someone and then got notice that their wages are garnisheed for a $3,200 debt. Should I fire them?

February 15, 2017

I have a question as I have a client that recently hired somebody and shortly after she started he got notice that her wages are garnisheed to pay off $3,200.00.

Doing Proper Backups

February 01, 2017

We all know that data is important, and we need to back it up. Whether a hard disk stops working, or your network has been invaded by “ransomware,” ensuring that you are doing proper backups can definitely save your bacon.

Should I fire an employee if I find out that they have embezzled from someone else in the past?

January 06, 2017

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.

What NOT To Do If You Suspect You Have Been Embezzled

December 06, 2016

As dentists, we have invested enormous time and resources obtaining our education, growing our practices, and pursuing other professional endeavors.

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

November 30, 2016

Many dentists believe that if the practice management software day-end report balances to their bank deposit, embezzlement is not happening in their practice.

What Squirrels and Embezzlers Have In Common

November 29, 2016

I was discussing embezzlement with my friend Rick Willeford a few months ago. Rick is a CPA and engineer who founded DentaMetrix, a company that helps dentists and consultants make sense of their data.

Ten Great Embezzlement Monitoring Ideas

November 03, 2016

Here are ten steps that take very little time but can make your practice much safer from embezzlement.

Great story about how an optometrist prosecuted an embezzling employee

September 20, 2016

During the summer of 2013, I was starting to hit my stride as a relatively new practice owner.

Let’s Talk About “Trust”

August 30, 2016

The Mirriam-Webster Dictionary describes trust as “ assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.”

Two big embezzlement myths

June 10, 2016

I’ll devote this column to addressing some of the misconceptions about embezzlement that just won’t seem to go away.

The Myth of Fraud Prevention

May 20, 2016

There are a lot of “urban myths” about embezzlement that will not disappear. As a result, embezzlement is flourishing in dentistry.

The Truth About Embezzlement – Orthodontic Products

April 29, 2016

Building a successful orthodontic practice is no small feat. It takes unwavering commitment, good marketing skills, smart business sense, and a dedicated support staff.

Don’t Underestimate the Embezzler by David Harris, MBA CMA, CFE, and Pat Little, DDS, FAGD CFE – Orthotown

April 29, 2016

As investigators, one thing we encounter every time we speak to a group of orthodontists is that, in the area of embezzlement, they consistently underestimate the capabilities of their opponents.

Darren Kaberna — You Just Discovered Embezzlement, Now What?

April 04, 2016

The Prosperident team does an amazing job of uncovering and assisting you in dealing with the legal issues around embezzlement. You now have this done, are feeling violated, and are not sure how to recover. Now what?

What Dental Practice Embezzlers and Houdini have in Common

February 27, 2016

Houdini was a master illusionist. Since many of his stunts were performed in full view of his audience, he relied on two key elements to perform the impossible.

The Mind of the Embezzler

February 10, 2016

I’ve often said that our embezzlers fall neatly into two categories, which I labeled the “Needy” and the “Greedy.” Let’s take you inside the mind of the embezzler.

Why does it take YEARS for someone who embezzles to go to jail?

February 10, 2016

Something that surprises victims is the painful slowness with which the justice system operates.

I’ve Heard That If I Suspect Embezzlement, Stealth Is Important. Why?

February 04, 2016

When an embezzler thinks that he or she is about to be discovered (and possibly go to jail, have their friends read about them in the newspaper, have their spouse find out about their illegal activities, etc.), their thoughts turn to self-preservation.

Test honesty of your staff? $50 temptation?

February 04, 2016

I have seen a few people advocate dentists setting up a plan to test honesty of their front desk staff.

Eight Things Dentists Misunderstand About Embezzlement

February 04, 2016

Reports suggest that more than half of dentists will eventually be victims of embezzlement. Dental practitioners can benefit from increasing their knowledge about embezzlement and how to deal with it effectively.

My Embezzlement Problem is Solved — My Embezzlement Suspect Quit…

December 31, 2015

Occasionally, a dentist calls us to say that he or she found an employee stealing who was fired or quit and that, because the suspect quit, the dentist believes that the “door is closed” on this matter, and no further action is required.

Things NOT to do if you suspect embezzlement in your office

September 10, 2015

If someone is embezzling from you, they are constantly looking for signs that they are about to get caught.

When Dentists Behave Badly

July 10, 2015

Do Dentists Embezzle?

Do Thieves Steal More in a Recession or When the Economy is Booming?

June 10, 2015

Something I often get asked is whether more embezzlement takes place when the economy is in trouble.

The Culture of Entitlement, Embezzlement, and Baby Boomers

February 10, 2015

Is entitlement a factor for embezzlement with certain demographics?

The Question I Get Asked Most When Speaking…

August 10, 2014

People come to my lectures looking for many things — some want CE credit; others with embezzlement concerns want information, and there are probably some seeking entertainment.

The Power of Nature … And Embezzlement

May 10, 2014

Prosperident had a visitor on the weekend — Hurricane Arthur traveled up the East Coast and walloped us on Saturday.

The Cost of Inaction

August 10, 2013

Two years ago, I set a goal for Prosperident of increasing the knowledge level of dentists and those who advise dentists about embezzlement.

Will security cameras covering my front desk stop embezzlement?

August 10, 2013

I get asked this question a lot when I am speaking to groups of dentists, so I decided to share the answer, and the reasons behind it, with you.

Prosperident’s Embezzlement Risk Self Assessment Questionnaire assists in identifying embezzlers

May 31, 2013

A dental office manager in Georgia who had been with the practice for 20 years was arrested last week — along with her husband and daughter — on charges of embezzling $2 million from her employer between 2009 and 2013.

Embezzlement is a Selfish Crime…

May 10, 2013

I was speaking somewhere a couple of months ago, and this phrase popped into my mind. I jotted it down and resolved to discuss it in a future newsletter column.

How To Avoid The Biggest Hiring Mistake of Your Life

February 10, 2013

Finding a good personality fit and ensuring that employees properly project your office’s personality are topics I will leave to others.

Misinformation about Embezzlement

January 10, 2013

Unfortunately, one of those pesky business matters affecting many dentists is embezzlement. Published statistics suggest that three in five dentists will be victimized by an embezzler in their careers. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation about how best to manage this problem. Many well-intentioned advisors suggest that if

Embezzlement — Dentistry’s Dirty Little Secret

April 29, 2011

Sometimes it’s a spouse, girlfriend, relative, accountant, or business partner.

The risks posed by Artificial Intelligence to Dental Practices

Unless you live in a cave, you have probably heard a lot about Artificial Intelligence lately. AI can drive cars, filter spam from your inbox (Yay!), and tailor the ads you see when browsing to suit your preferences. Applications that seem to be straight from science fiction are on the horizon.

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