Tales of Dental Embezzlement: Teenage Mail Boy Stole $110,000

Editorial
by Jim Du Molin

Okay, now for my story! Some twenty years ago, I got a call from Concerned Doctor at Big Dental Practice, a successful ten-doctor operation. Well, Concerned Doctor couldn’t figure out how come the large, bustling practice didn’t seem to be turning a profit, so he asked me to look into it. (I’m not in the business of tracking down embezzlements anymore, but back then, I was directly involved in the financial management of dental practices.)

One day I got a call from the practice’s office manager. “I don’t know what to do,” she told me. “I’ve just received some checks that Concerned Doctor endorsed to our 17-year-old mail boy.” I think she was afraid she had uncovered some secret sugar-daddy love affair. But, I reasoned, if Concerned Doctor was really paying off his teenage lover, he would hardly ask me to investigate.

Well, of course it wasn’t a love affair. Concerned Doctor had no idea what the endorsed checks were about, as he hadn’t actually endorsed them. Teenage Mail Boy would open the practice’s mail, steal checks from insurance companies, forge the doctor’s signature, and keep the cash for himself, always erasing the original transaction from the practice’s computer system. Big Dental Practice ultimately calculated Mail Boy’s take at $110,000.

In the end, the practice wasn’t able to recover the money from the mail boy, but they didn’t lose it; the bank that had cashed the forged checks covered the loss. The practice was able to continue without problems.

And what of Teenage Mail Boy? It’s kind of a sad, karmic story. He was sent off to jail and eventually paroled to a halfway house. He got a job working nights at (where else?) a dental practice. One night while working alone, he fatally overdosed on nitrous oxide.

Whew. Now do you see why I got out of that part of the business?

Jim Du Molin


About Jim Du Molin

+Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques.

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