Dental Embezzlement News
Issue #8 -- February 2013
Upcoming webinar...
The great folks at MDE (Mercury Data Exchange) are hosting a webinar featuring Prosperident CEO David Harris titled "Why Does Embezzlement Strike Three in Five Dentists?" on February 12 at 8:00 pm Eastern Time.
You can sign up for free by clicking here
Read about us...
We have some new articles and interviews available online.  Check out a couple:
MDE Modern Office

What NOT to do if you think you might be a victim
Many dentists describe the moment when they realize that a trusted employee is stealing from them as one of the worst moments in their professional career.
If you have that feeling, you can make your position much worse if you do the wrong things:
  1. Don't confront the suspect.  Aside from alerting him or her of your suspicions, you aren't yet ready for a productive confrontation.
  2. Don't act suspiciously, start asking for extra reports, spend lots of time on the phone in your private office with the door closed etc.  ALERTING THE SUSPECT PREMATURELY CAN HAVE SEVERE CONSEQUENCES!
  3. Don't call the police ... yet.  There will be an appropriate time to do this later.
  4. Don't try to do this yourself -- investigation is a job for experts.
We have an "Immediate Action Checklist", which is a more complete list of dos and don'ts is available by emailing us at
If you think you might be a victim, you can call us at 888-398-2327 , or send email to our fraud hotline (checked daily by our on-duty investigator at  We will normally respond within 24 hours.
Visit our Website
Investigator Profile --Art McCracken
We are delighted to welcome Art McCracken to our team of awesome investigators.  Art is someone we have known for several years in his capacity as a dental consultant, and we could not believe our good fortune when he agreed to work with us. 
Art's background includes a degree in corporate financial management, a banking background, and an excellent knowledge of practice management software, all of which we have already put to good use in investigations.
Art (and several others of our team) is a member of the Speaking and Consulting Network, the premier organization for dental speakers, writers and consultants.
Art makes his home in Idaho Falls, Idaho, and is a good firend and colleague of this month's guest columnist, Bob Spiel.  Art can be reached by clicking here.
A Note From Our CEO:
As many of you know, I have made it a personal mission to increase awareness amongst dentists and those who advise dentists about the danger that embezzlement poses to the profession.
By some measures I have been successful; we have an impressive list of upcoming speaking engagements, and we get monthly requests for interviews and articles from prestigious dental publications.
However, the word isn't getting spread quickly enough.  Three in five dentists will be embezzlement victims in their careers.
Embezzlement causes some dentists to delay their retirements and pushes others into bankruptcy.  Our own estimate is that it "extracts" a billion dollars annually from dentists in North America. 
But the cost isn't just financial.  Embezzlement also wrecks marriages, ruins working relationships and in some cases causes dentists to leave their profession completely.  We have also seen situations where it was the route cause for arson, emotional breakdown and in at least one case, murder.
So please forgive my seeming impatience with raising awareness.  And please stay tuned for next month's newsletter, because I am hoping to make a major announcement about the fight against embezzlement.

In this theme or arming you with knowledge, I mentioned last month that we have recently made some major enhancements to our tremendously popular Embezzlement Risk Assessment Questionnaire.  I'll renew my offer to provide you with a free copy if you email us at
I've said it before -- investing 10 minutes in completing this questionnaire could save you a bundle.
Thanks for reading,

David Harris
Chief Executive Officer
Guest Column
In the course of our work, we have the privilege of working with some truly outstanding consultants.  We welcome the chance to use this column to introduce you to some of them.
This issue's guest column is by Bob Spiel.  Bob is writing about leadership, a topic in which he is supremely versed -- Bob is a leader both with his clients and within the dental consulting profession.
The Three R’s of Leadership 
As a kid growing up I frequently heard both parents and teachers talk about the importance of the three R’s: reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic.  It seems nothing was drilled in more during school than those three -- and with good reason.    Parents and teachers knew those “R’s” were key to my future, and that mastering them early would be critical to success throughout life.  Like you, I buckled down and learned them – and looking back now realize that life would be drastically different without these skills.

Years later a good friend taught me there is another set of “R’s” just as fundamental to success, but these R’s are not taught in school.    They are the 3 R’s of leadership:  Relationships, Requirements and Resources.  And just like the R’s we learned as kids, the R’s of leadership make all the difference.  Let’s briefly look at each: 
Relationships:  Fostering strong, trusting relationships is the beginning of effective leadership and is one of the most important activities a leader will ever engage in.   

The strength of a relationship is measured by the amount of trust held between two people: the stronger the trust, the stronger the relationship; the weaker the trust, the weaker the relationship.     Review the relationships you have with each team member and ask this one salient question, “Where is the level of trust between us, and what can I do to impact that?”  Then act on those impressions. 

Requirements:  Clarifying expectations is vital to the success of a team and is the second most important activity a leader engages in.   Clear expectations are like providing a road map to a traveler in a foreign land:  they define where you are going and what it is going to take to get there.     Define in writing what each team member’s roles and goals are in a practice – and then define how both of you will know numerically when the team member is succeeding.  Once the roles and goals are in writing, discuss those roles, goals and measurements with each team member – and then follow up and hold each member accountable for their performance. 

Resources:   Leaders can’t stop at creating trusting and trustworthy relationships – and defining expectations.  The third key leadership activity is to ensure your team has the tools needed for success.    Successful tools make work faster, better, more focused and produce higher and higher quality.  Ask your team in the next team meeting: what tools don’t you have that would make a huge difference in your work?  Then stand back and listen.   
A team cannot run faster than their leader.  Leaders are pace setters and culture creators.   And as leaders place concentrated effort on improving the three R’s of their practice amazing things start to happen.    Nothing replaces leadership in a practice.  Nothing.
Robert Spiel, MBA, is a professional speaker, writer, consultant and practice mastery coach to dental practices across the United States.  With over 25 years’ experience in transformational leadership and business, his passion is to coach practice leaders and teams to create exponential success.   He can be contacted at or at 888-520-6909
Prosperident -- The Dental Embezzlement Experts