Dentaltown April 2018 - 80

D

r. John was conquering his
dental practice day, just like
Shaun White conquered the
halfpipe during the 2018 Olympics.
The schedule was full, he and his
staff were on time, case acceptance
and billings were trending upward,
and past due account receivables were
trending downward. The past few days
had been hard because his rock star
office manager, Olivia, had been home
suffering with the flu. But today, Dr.
John's dream team staff was reunited
and ready to win a gold medal.
Amber Assistant had eagerly volunteered to fill Olivia Office Manager's
temporarily vacated position at the front
desk. She was the newest member of Dr.
John's dream team staff and she had
hoped to prove herself a worthy addition.
Amber Assistant got a crash course in
front office procedures and tried her best
to be a good team player. However, now
that Olivia Office Manager had returned,
Amber Assistant began questioning
if she, Amber, had posted payments
correctly, so she reviewed the patient
accounts of the previous two days.
It was shortly after lunch that Amber
Assistant asked to speak privately with
Dr. John. Her true intention was to
apologize to him for some errors she must
have made during her two-day tenure
at the front desk. Close to tears, Amber
Assistant said, "Dr. John, I've done
something terribly wrong! I'm positive
that yesterday I posted cash payments
to two separate patient accounts, but,
today the money is not on the ledgers.
What do I need to do to fix it?"
Unknowingly, Amber Assistant had
stumbled upon Olivia Office Manager's
theft scheme. Dr. John consulted
Prosperident for further investigation
and uncovered an embezzlement of
$100,000 over a two-year period. Armed
with undeniable proof during guided
confrontation, Olivia Office Manager
confessed and agreed to restitution of
$70,000 to avoid legal charges.

How it all begins
As a certified fraud examiner who
specializes in fraud and embezzlement
in the dental industry, I've investigated
hundreds of dental businesses. I've
witnessed firsthand the drive, dedication
and intelligence of my colleagues who
are devoted to oral medicine.
Operating at an advanced level
does not mean our beloved industry
is immune from the embezzlement
epidemic; unfortunately, it means that
the embezzlers are more advanced in
their theft methodologies.
Three out of every five dentists
will be the victim of embezzlement
during their practice career. We don't
have current studies or statistics of
incidences of theft specific to dental
offices, so I'll share insight from personal
investigation experiences:
* Most thieves are first-time
offenders; less than 15 percent
are serial embezzlers.
* The average scheme extends over
a two- to five-year period before
being identified. The resulting
loss is more than $100,000.
* The average employment tenure
is five years.
* There is an inverse correlation
between tenure and perception
of exposure. In a recent
investigation, a trusted, 20-year
tenured employee stole $500,000
over 11 years.
* The average hourly compensation rate for the employees found
to be embezzling is $16-$20.

by Wendy Askins, BS, MBA, CFE
In addition to an MBA
and undergraduate
studies in psychology
and criminology, Wendy
Askins has more than 25
years of experience in the
dental industry. Askins'
encyclopedic knowledge
of dental practices and strong academic
background have helped her expose complex
theft schemes committed by employees or
business partners. She is a certified fraud
examiner for Prosperident and a member of
the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Contact: wendy@dentalembezzlement.comĀ 

dentaltown.com \\ APRIL 2018

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dentaltown April 2018

Dentaltown April 2018 - Intro
Dentaltown April 2018 - Cover1
Dentaltown April 2018 - Cover2
Dentaltown April 2018 - 1
Dentaltown April 2018 - 2
Dentaltown April 2018 - 3
Dentaltown April 2018 - 4
Dentaltown April 2018 - 5
Dentaltown April 2018 - 6
Dentaltown April 2018 - 7
Dentaltown April 2018 - 8
Dentaltown April 2018 - 9
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Dentaltown April 2018 - 12
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Dentaltown April 2018 - 15
Dentaltown April 2018 - 16
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Dentaltown April 2018 - 18
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Dentaltown April 2018 - Cover3
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