Dental Office Embezzlement Investigations | Atlanta, GA



Dental Office Embezzlement Investigations | Atlanta, GA

Dental Fraud & Stupidity

We’ve talked previously about fraud relying on your busy schedule and other factors for not responding. Add the perception of embarrassment and perceived stupidity to the list.

When a dentist realizes they have been defrauded by a trusted employee, they inevitably ask, “You probably think I’m stupid, but…” as they begin to talk about a lack of oversight or raised suspicions they dismissed. Recently I was trying to reassure a dentist he shouldn’t feel stupid. I used an analogy of a patient who had oral cancer or perhaps had neglected symptoms which had manifested into a serious condition. “You wouldn’t think the patient was stupid would you?” I asked. The dentist didn’t seem to accept my condolence, was still embarrassed, or may believe some patients are stupid – I’m still not sure.

We should continue awareness about detecting fraud but just as important is a proper response and attitude. If you stay embarrassed, dismiss the issue or don’t ask for help, you can suffer longer. Worse, your course of action or lack thereof can pass the fraudster along to another colleague. Case after insidious case exists of a dishonest employee moving to another practice only to repeat their behavior. If you become victimized, there is a strong, overwhelming voice which says, move on. Our recommendation is to seek prosecution and restitution, as you “move on.”

I had the pleasure to meet with a dentist who was actually taking a pro-active posture. He was a new practice owner, had participated in an education seminar on practice fraud and called me. He shared his concerns which were well founded. Several blazing conditions existed which could have caused severe damage if not addressed. I praised the dentist for his decisiveness. He was replacing his high-risk office manager and had learned his lesson. He would not become another statistic of office fraud! During one of our meetings, the dentist received a call concerning a favored applicant he was screening. The call didn’t go well. The applicant had clearly lied on the application and during a face-to-face interview. The dejected dentist then asked me if he should be concerned about the revelation. I of course said he should. This is the reason for conducting background checks. While slightly humorous, I didn’t think he was asking a stupid question. The irony was natural. Despite his training and our conversations, he still wanted to see the best in people and “move on.”

With any crime we should avoid blaming the victim. Practices that experience fraud should come forward. If you suspect a problem, contact a trusted professional skilled in fraud detection. We won’t think you’re stupid.

Dental Office Embezzlement Investigations

Zane Kinney, CFE, PI



3 thoughts on “Dental Office Embezzlement Investigations | Atlanta, GA

  1. Many fraud victims merely consider the the incident as being isolated, a one time occurrence, and the odds of it happening again are slim to none. A false sense of security overcomes them once the fraudster has been dismissed and they move onward with no plan to curb the vulnerabilities that opened the door to the fraud in the first place! When it comes to fraud, lightening can strike more than once!

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