Dental Embezzlement News
Issue #9 -- March 2013
Upcoming Presentations
Here are some of the places you can hear us speak soon.
Pacific Dental Conference, Vancouver BC March 7 and 8
American Association of Orthodontists webinar April 4 and 9
Denver Profitable Dentists April 12
Dentaltown Townie Meeting, Las Vegas NV April 18
Speaking and Consulting Network, Loveland CO June 8
Savannah Dental Society, Savannah GA Sept 20

Read about us...
We have some new articles and interviews available online.  Check out a couple:
MDE Modern Office

Ten warning signs NOT to ignore:
  1. Staff members in financial difficulty
  2. Addictions or other compulsive behaviors 
  3. Staff who are “super-dedicated” especially working unusual hours or who never take vacation / sick days
  4. Unusually territorial about work or workspace
  5. Control freaks / cocooning  -- want to control communication between patients and practice
  6. Conspicuous displays of honesty
  7. Resist practice management software upgrades
  8. Resist increased involvement of consultants /accountants
  9. Attempt to exert control over choice of practice advisors 
  10. (We're not kidding about this one!) Receptionist’s BMW is newer (and bigger) than yours.
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 --Wendy Askins
Wendy Askins is a Senior Fraud Investigator with Prosperident.  Wendy's extensive experience working in and managing specialist dental offices make her extremely well qualified for her Prosperident role.  Wendy manages some of our most challenging investigations in orthodontic and oral surgery practices. 
Her investigative and communication skills earn her high praise from clients and peers.
Wendy has an MBA from LeTourneau University and an undergraduate degree in psychology.  She makes her home in Conroe, TX.
A Note From Our CEO:
We write and speak a lot about the causes of embezzlement, how commonly it afflicts dentists (three in five dentists will be afflicted in their careers) and how much money it costs (the average thief steals almost $150,000; cleaning up the damage can increase the total cost to the dentist considerably).
However, I don't think we always emphasize the emotional cost of embezzlement.  The most obvious consequence is the pain caused by being hurt by someone you have chosen to trust, but it can go well beyond that. 
We all know that dentistry is a demanding profession, both physically and emotionally.  When you add the consequences of destroyed trust to the burdens already facing dentists, many get pushed beyond the breaking point.
We have also seen embezzlement take a toll on many marriages; it is common for one spouse to (unfairly) believe that the other's negligence somehow caused the embezzlement, and increased financial pressure from embezzlement can strain any relationship.  We have even seen several situations where one spouse was wrongly convinced that their seemingly sudden financial problems were the result of the other having an affair.
One resource we have available is our in-house psychologist, Jason Roth.  Jason has dealt with many dentists, and has an excellent understanding of the challenges facing dental families.  He can be extremely helpful at helping post-embezzlement dentists rebuild relationships with family members and staff.  Jason can be reached through our office at 888-398-2327.
While it is unfortunate that someone like Jason is needed, he is a great resource to have.  The key to minimizing financial and emotional damage from embezzlement is to spot that it is happening quickly. The best tool available for this is our Embezzlement Risk Assessment Questionnaire.  We will happily share with any dentist who emails us at
I've said it before -- investing 10 minutes in completing this questionnaire could save you a bundle -- of money and heartache.
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 Paul Edwards, CEO and Co-Founder of CEDR HR Solutions.  Paul is definitely a "go-to" guy when it comes to human resource questions in dental offices, and he has shown considerable interest in the area of embezzlement.
Seminar Attendance & Travel Pay:
The Office Policy that 8 out of 10 Employers Get Wrong 
I’m frequently asked “When is travel time or seminar attendance compensable?” For continuing education credits, seminars, or company trips, remember two rules:
1. The “Butt in the Chair” rule – employers must pay for ALL hours employees are attending mandatory trainings or meetings, regardless of the day of the week and their normal work hours.
2. The “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” rule – employers must pay for ALL hours employees are traveling to and from a seminar or meeting if it crosses across their normal work hours.
Why do we bring these rules up? Because in the last year, CEDR Solutions’ HR experts have evaluated more than 250 employee handbooks for practices across the United States. Of those, nearly 92% failed to get their seminar & travel pay policy correct.
Here is a common example:
“If a seminar falls on a normal workday you will be paid your regular pay for that day. If a seminar falls on a Saturday or Sunday, you will not be paid for this non-work day, but all expenses will be covered such as lunch and parking. You will not be required to attend a non-paid seminar.
Does the above sound familiar? If so, bad news: this policy is illegal. Employers must pay for all hours employees attend training or seminars for work, regardless of the day of the week. Plus, if this time puts the employee over forty hours in a week, overtime must be paid.
A good rule of thumb is that in order for time spent at a seminar to NOT be compensable, ALL of the following must be TRUE. 
  1. Attendance must be outside of normal work hours.
    Note: this does not say normal work “days.”
  2. Attendance is voluntary.
    Note: The word “voluntary” will not stand up if an employee can show the employer led them to believe that the training was critical or related to their job.
  3. Event is not directly related to the job or does not benefit the employee.
  4. The employee performs NO productive work during this period.
The exception to these rules: if the employee is participating in continuing education in order to maintain his/her state licensure and would not be able to continue to work without it, you do not have to pay.
What about travel pay? If an employee’s travel time to or from a mandatory training or meeting cuts across their normal work hours, then those hours are ALSO compensable and subject to overtime. This is true regardless of the day of the week.
For example, if your normal business hours are 8 am to 5 pm, and the employee travels to an event leaving at 3 pm and arriving at 6 pm, the employee is entitled to two (2) hours of travel pay. This is true EVEN IF the travel is on Saturday, and EVEN IF your business is only open Monday through Friday.
CEDR HR Solutions ( provides individually customized employee handbooks and HR solutions to dental offices of all sizes across the United States. Paul Edwards has over 20 years’ experience as a manager and owner, and specializes in helping dental offices solve employee issues. Paul is a featured writer for The Profitable Dentist magazine, a regular contributor to Dentaltown and AADOM, and speaks at employment education seminars, conferences, and CE courses across the country. He can be reached at or (866) 414-6056.

Prosperident -- The world's largest dental investigation embezzlement firm