Dental Embezzler Goes on to Steal $1.5 from the State of Georgia

 

Our dental embezzlement survey revealed 59% of you have discovered theft in your practices. Moreover, there were some great anecdotes…

A few stories did make me wonder about the difference between embezzlement and petty theft. I mean, a hygienist who steals toilet paper, an office manager who uses your stamps, $12 missing from the register? I even looked up embezzle online. I think these might fall into the category of larceny instead. But that’s neither here nor there— what I’m really interested in are the big-money stories.

And I certainly got some of those! A Georgia dentist busted an employee for theft, then learned she did the very same thing at her next job.

“My newly-hired office manager took my office deposits in a locked bank bag to the bank. Away from the office and in secret, she unlocked the bag and removed cash. In addition, she took patients’ checks; with her ink-stamp, she repeatedly stamped over my endorsement, showing her name as the endorser. The bank teller gave her cash for my checks— 186 times from the same teller. In addition, when I built up a large amount of money in my checking account, I wrote a check to my money market account. She removed those checks from the deposit bag and took them to a small bank outside of my city. The bank president allowed her to deposit those checks into her account by simply endorsing the back of my check. In addition, she had taken customer checks from the CPA firm where she also worked. She deposited them to my account and then took a corresponding amount out of my pension fund account. I successfully went after her, and she received 13 months in prison. She got out of prison and was hired by the state of Georgia to work in a cafeteria, again handling money. There she allegedly embezzled $1.5M. She was caught and received 5 years imprisonment.”

Wow! Perhaps someone should tell the state of Georgia to check prospective employees’ criminal records… I mean, if I can do it, you’d think Georgia could too, right?

A California dentist warned doctors to keep a close eye on their bottom line.

“I once had to fire a front office employee for ‘creatively scheduling’ overtime for herself as well as participating in other suspicious activities that unfortunately added up to a lot of lost revenue for my practice. While my accountant and I couldn’t turn up any actual proof of embezzlement, it still wouldn’t surprise me. The biggest mistake I made was not knowing my front office business as well as an employee. Now I keep much tighter control up front even though it means more work for me. I shudder when I hear other dentists tell me that they have no idea what their front office staff does but they trust them enough to let them work unsupervised. It is never wise to know less about the financial end of the business than your employees!!!

A Minnesota dentist described being betrayed by a trusted employee.

“My best front desk employee in my 25 years of practice (also a trusted friend) was the person with her fingers in the till. One simple discovery of dishonesty was the tip-off. Honesty is the only trait I look for when I hire new employees; the rest is trainable.”


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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