by Jim Du Molin
I knew I was going to get some interesting responses when I sent out a survey asking how many dentists had ever been embezzled, but I still wasn’t quite prepared for the results! Over half of our dentists responded that someone had stolen from them. In case any of you were still thinking that embezzlement isn’t a big problem for dental practices, let this be your wake-up call.
Yes, Even Dentists Have To Pay Taxes
An oral surgeon from California recounted what happened to another doctor who neglected to supervise his accountant.
“I knew an oral and maxillofacial surgeon whose office manager/CPA did not pay payroll taxes for two years! Instead, he took some of the money for himself and gave some of it to the doctor. The doctor did not know any better; he thought he was just doing really well! The eventual IRS offer was $270K. It could have been much higher. The office manager/CPA left before the problem was discovered. He eventually confessed when the doctor promised not to prosecute him.”
Dental Embezzler Kills Self Upon Discovery
A dentist from Michigan had the most shocking and tragic story of all.
“I discovered that my long-time financial coordinator was filing fraudulent insurance claims and diverting monies into her own personal account. Cash payments from patients were also skimmed. Upon confronting her, firing her and informing her that legal action was going to be pursued; she committed suicide at her home. She left a young daughter and loving husband. Very, very sad story.“
And once again, I’m somewhat speechless. How do you respond to a story like that?
Next week I’ll be back with even more tales of embezzlement — including one about a greedy office manager who got caught, fired, and sent to jail, only to get another job for the state where she absconded with over a million dollars!
Plus, you’ll also find some valuable tips for avoiding embezzlement at your dental practice.
Jim Du Molin