Dental Embezzlement News
Issue #19 -- January 2014
Did you miss a previous newsletter?  We archive them here.
What an 11 Year-Old Can Teach Us About Embezzlement
Editor's note:
It's really hard to pin CEO David Harris down to write a newsletter article.  He's OK with doing his monthly "Note from the CEO" column, but it's a challenge to get more than that from him.  So when he OFFERS to write an article, you are instantly intrigued.  Here it is:
My son is about to turn twelve.  He's definitely a well-rounded kid -- he does well in school, excels in any sport he plays and can even emit something that resembles music from his saxophone.
But as mature as he is for his age, he still isn't an adult and sometimes this comes to light.  For example, occasionally he plays chess with me.  I haven't lost to him yet (although he did give me a scare once).
I don't win because I am smarter than he is; in fact I the reverse is probably true.  I defeat him because I have the wisdom and worldliness of an adult.  It is far easier for me to perceive and counter my opponent's strategy than it is for him, and this allows my winning streak to continue.
Now let's apply this concept to embezzlement.  In the battle against an embezzler, he or she has the upper hand.  They know you well and understand what you scrutinize (and what you don't).  They can pick the time and place to strike, and, like me playing chess, are quite capable of adapting to your efforts to block them.
Every month I get asked by dentists if some contemplated procedural change will reduce the chance that they will be embezzled.  The simple answer is "No". 
Assuming that blocking an embezzlement "pathway" ignores both the determination and adaptability of the thief; someone who has decided that they should steal from you will keep looking until they find an undefended corner of your practice, and these corners will always exist. 
There have been lots of articles written touting the effectiveness of these "denial of opportunity" strategies.  I can only surmise that the authors haven't met many criminals.
If there is one thing about embezzlement that I want you to assimilate, it's this -- in the "game" of embezzlement, don't ever forget that you are the 11 year-old and the embezzler is the adult.
I'm not suggesting that you are powerless against embezzlement; only that the conventional approach of "locking the barn door" is flawed.  However, if you know what you are looking for, embezzlement is easy to spot. 
Our Embezzlement Risk Assessment Questionnaire is a fantastic tool for this, and using it regularly is the single best method of controlling embezzlement.  If you don't have the questionnaire, or if yours is out of date, we will be happy to give you a free one if you just send an email here. In a future edition of our newsletter, I'll discuss how to use the questionnaire to maximum advantage. (Editor's note -- I'll believe it when I see it.)
We Love to Talk!
Here are some of the places you can hear us speak in the next quarter:
Jan 13 Arizona Orthodontists Study Club, Phoenix AZ
Jan 22 Halifax County Dental Society, Halifax NS
Feb 1 TopsFest, Tucson AZ
Mar 27 Thomas P Hinman Dental Meeting, Atlanta GA
Apr 3-5 Western Regional Dental Convention, Phoenix AZ
Apr 25 Star of the North Meeting, St. Paul MN

To book a great speaker for your meeting or study club, please send an email here  or call us at 888-398-2327.
Prosperident's Mission
 “We eliminate uncertainty for dentists with embezzlement concerns and maximize financial and emotional recovery for victims.”

Learn more about Lisa at 
You can reach her at 517-331-3688
Guest Column -- Dr. Lisa Knowles
Lisa Knowles is known as "Dentistry's Communications Expert".  After fifteen years of practice ownership, Lisa has scaled back her clinical activities to concentrate on consulting.  Her focus is on helping the dental community create messages that evoke change and unify teams, and Lisa has a particular interest in the topic of oral and systemic links emerging in dentistry. She is leading the way in creating awareness and in creating collaborative messages to help all healthcare providers speak a common language to facilitate better patient care. 
Lisa and Prosperident CEO David Harris have been friends for several years and regularly have interesting discussions on topics of mutual interest.  The following piece from Lisa is an offshoot of one of those discussions.
New Year, New Hope
The topic of embezzlement is heavy. Let’s admit it. It’s scary, not real fun to think about, and brings up all sorts of emotional upheaval within us. Personally, I am elated David Harris covers this topic and takes care of it for dentists. I would not want to do it.
After many conversations with David, it’s clear I am the antithesis to the heaviness of embezzlement. David refers to me at the Don Quixote of dental consulting. At first, I worried about this. Maybe I am too soft? Maybe I am too pie in the sky? Maybe I am too…hopeful?
I think not. If there’s one thing people want in a dental consultant, it’s an ability to give them hope for something better. People turn to consultants under a couple of circumstances: 1) They want to change some things in their lives, and they want to get better or 2) They are really good at what they do, but they want to be even better. Both situations require hope.
I chide David about being too skeptical, and he chides me about chanting “om’s” in my yoga classes. Really, though, to succeed in dentistry, we need to be both skeptical and idealistic. The hard part: knowing when to turn one on and the other one off. If we are too skeptical, the world becomes negative and hard to live in. If we are too idealistic, life becomes fantastical and unrealistic.
For the embezzlement arena, I want to hire someone who is a bit cynical. This person must not trust easily and must question each “suspect” with the utmost objectivity. David and his team have this knack.
For the team left broken after an embezzlement situation, I offer the hope and reassurance that life will resume as normal again in due time. My forte in communication offers practices the language needed to get through the process, and my experience as a dentist helps other dentists learn to trust again.
No one likes to be duped. No one likes to play the fool. Embezzlement brings out all of these feelings and all of these possibilities. It’s good to know everyone has been duped and everyone has played the fool at some time in his or her life. Good consultants help the team find pieces of good in the world again and help breathe new life back into difficult situations. Good consultants hold the hope for the team when no one seems to have any of their own.
As the New Year begins, I challenge you to find the right balance between skepticism and idealism. For me, it’s an intentional effort to not live in a sea of cynicism day in and day out—even though there are thousands of reasons to lack faith in others. Rather, it’s a conscious choice to find the good in a bad situation. It’s a conscious effort to find others who, through the good, the bad, and the ugly, remain optimistic about life. People like David and I need each other. I need the Davids in my life to remind me to be cautious and to look before I leap. David needs the Lisas to remind him that not everyone is fraudulent, and there are trusted souls still out there in the world. We need both skepticism and idealism in dentistry, just not in their extremes
It’s with hope that I wish you a peaceful and prosperous 2014!
Lisa Knowles
A Note From Our CEO:
Welcome to 2014! 
Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, for many of us the last part of December represents a time when things slow down a bit and you get to spend time with family, eat too much and spend a bit of time contemplating life. 
December 2013 also seemed to have some of the wildest weather on record in the United States and Canada, but that's a whole other story...
For some reason the slowdown seemed to completely bypass Prosperident; we received a record number of requests for assistance from dentists in December.  I'm not complaining, but I do want to publicly say thanks to our dedicated staff, who were fielding enquiries and working with clients throughout the holidays.
I'm excited about 2014.  We've made some major investments in technology in 2013, including some significant upgrades to the computers in our Data Analysis Lab in December.  These upgrades will generally be invisible to you but will give our investigators the tools to make speedier investigations and communicate results more quickly to dentists.  We've also got some terrific speaking engagements lined up.  Those of you who know me also know how much I enjoy being able to meet and connect face-to-face with a group of dentists, and this feeling is definitely one that our other investigator/ speakers share.
I'm thrilled to have a guest column this month from my friend Dr. Lisa Knowles.  I can think of few people with whom I have less in common, but yet enjoy such a good friendship with.  Her perspective is a great one, and I'd invite you to check out her web site.
I hope that you had a good holiday, that if you are in the Midwest, that your pipes aren't frozen this morning, and that you are excited about the challenges and opportunities facing you in 2014. 
Yours truly,

David Harris, MBA CMA CFE
Chief Executive Officer
Prosperident -- The world's largest dental investigation embezzlement firm