Dental Embezzlement News
Issue #26 -- August 2014
Did you miss a previous newsletter?  We archive them here.
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
Here are some of the places you can hear us speak in the next few months:
Sep 5 Patterson Dental, Biloxi MS
Sep 11
Island Pursuit of Dental Excellence, Nanaimo BC
Sep 19 Santa Monica Oral and Maxillofacial Study Club, Santa Monica CA
Sep 21 New Jersey Health Professionals Development Institute, River Edge NJ
Sep 25 Annapolis Valley Dental Society, Kentville NS
Oct 5 Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists, Anaheim CA
Oct 11 Southern Association of Orthodontists, Nassau Bahamas
Nov 15 Dalhousie University, Halifax NS
Nov 18 Patterson Dental, Miami FL
Nov 19 Patterson Dental, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Nov 20 Patterson Dental, Stuart, FL
Dec 3 American Association of Orthodontists webinar (AAO members only)
Dec 4 Paragon Management, Washington DC
Dec 6 ITI Study Club, Kennesaw GA
Dec 9 American Association of Orthodontists webinar (AAO members only)
Jan 29
topsFest, Atlanta GA
Feb 12 American Academy of Dental Group Practice, Las Vegas NV
Feb 20 Ortho2 User Group Meeting, Scottsdale AZ
Mar 5 Pacific Dental Conference, Vancouver, BC
Apr 9 New Orleans Dental Conference
Apr 14 Fox River Dental Society, Geneva, IL
May 8 American Association of Endodontists, Seattle WA
Sept 11 Northeastern Society of Orthodontists, Providence RI
Nov 5 ADA Annual Meeting, Washington DC
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.”

Check out our web store
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The boss has spoken.  He wanted us to give a good discount on our powerful Embezzlement Risk Assessment Questionnaire.
If you use offer code ITSALMOSTFREE when ordering, we will reduce the price from the usual $79 to just $35.
When Dentists Behave Badly
Editor's note --Most of you know about our CEO, David Harris.  What you may not know is that, while he can talk about his son's soccer prowess all day, it is sometimes difficult to get him to write something for our monthly newsletter.  So when he offers to write an article, you just know that he has something important to say.
Do Dentists Embezzle?
By David Harris

I think everyone reading this newsletter is aware of the shockingly high probability of a dentist being embezzled in his or her career.  Published statistics put that probability at 60%, but because some embezzlement goes unreported and some is never detected, the true probability is likely about 80%.
It is tempting to attribute this pandemic to the necessity to have employees, with those employees being generally less educated and having a less developed sense of ethics than the dentist.  By this logic, while it is quite possible to be victimized by staff, it is unimaginable that another member of the dental fraternity would steal.
This reasoning is doubly flawed.  First, the overwhelming majority of dental team members share the altruism and integrity that most dentists bring to their profession, and the embezzlement statistics are a result of the actions of a very small proportion of dental staff.  And second, one dentist stealing from another in a group practice context is something that we encounter with some regularity.  We usually have four or five active investigations of this type in progress.  While this is a small proportion of our total investigations, we need to bear in mind that the number of multi-dentist practices where this "fratricide" can happen is relatively small also.
What I want to establish is that the causes of embezzlement are not as simple as modest economic circumstances and underdeveloped ethics.  Most of our dentist-embezzlers are already reasonably well off, and it is clear to me that they understand the ethical transgressions they are making.
So why do they do it? 
Sometimes the embezzlers feel that the dentist they are victimizing has somehow wronged them in the past, and they are (using a very twisted concept of fairness) attempting to right this historical wrong.  In other situations, I believe they get some kind of biochemical thrill from successfully stealing (analogous, I guess, to the celebrity shoplifters we sometimes read about in the news who steal a $10 item from a store while earning millions of dollars).  And the dental education and licensing process is probably far better at weeding out the undexterous and unintelligent than the sociopaths.
If you are not in a group practice, at this point you are probably questioning the relevance of this discussion to you.  It's actually pretty direct.  Embezzlers who happen to be dentists are bestowed a huge advantage by their victims.  Because their actions are "inconceivable" (and I'm now quoting many of the victims), the perpetrator receives far less skepticism from the victim than he or she should. 
Regardless of your practice situation, an easy way to make yourself vulnerable is to decide that it is inconceivable that a certain person will steal from you.  We have unfortunately seen far too many of these "inconceivables".  In addition to the classic cases of the trusted long-term employee we have also seen embezzlement committed by siblings of the dentist, children, and even spouses.
I'm not suggesting an ongoing hunt for embezzlers the way Sen. McCarthy once hunted for communists; simply that deciding that anyone is "above suspicion" is exactly the enabler that they need, if they are so inclined.  We just can't completely rule out the possibility of someone being a thief.  Whether you practice solo or in a group, some amount of skepticism is a healthy thing.
Our Embezzlement Risk Assessment Questionnaire is an excellent tool for flagging the telltale behavioral clues of embezzlement.  You can get it from our web store at
A Note From Our CEO:
I remember how, as a child, I used to despise those "Back to School" flyers and ads.  School and I had a relationship that fell far short of harmonious.  I encountered one of my former high-school teachers a few years ago and he recalled trying to teach me history and that "it was painful for us both".  And even now, more than three decades after I slunk away from high school (and after having found success both as a student and professor in university), I still feel a slight anxiety when I see those ads.
For many of us grownups, "Back to School" also signifies "Back to Business".  While like almost everyone I will mourn the all-to-rapid passage of another summer, I'm excited about what is coming up for us this fall and winter.  Our fantastic team of investigators continues to grow both in number and capabilities, and as you can see from the left column of this newsletter, we have some wonderful speaking engagements coming up. 
If you haven't done so in a while as your own attention refocuses, I'd encourage you to pull out our Embezzlement Risk Questionnaire and complete it again.  If you don't have the Questionnaire, you can get it within a couple of minutes from our web store, and I've asked our Customer Service folks to offer a generous discount this month.
I hope you have had a great summer, and I look forward to running into many of you sometime over the Fall or Winter as I travel around our wonderful continent.

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