Preventing Embezzlement: 9 Things a Dentist Should Do Now

Preventing Embezzlement: 9 Things a Dentist Should Do Now

Apr 28, 2018

It is an unfortunate reality that embezzlement at a dental practice by employees can happen. It can be confusing and frustrating when it does occur, and dentists often do not know how to handle the situation properly. Here are 9 smart bits of advice to help you deal with the issue.

Stealth is paramount.

Usually, fraud suspicions are suspected but not confirmed. Publicly stating that you think fraud is occurring can cause the guilty party to change patterns or destroy evidence.

Obtain professional advice.

A dentist often does not know exactly what they are looking for when investigating fraud. Trusting a skilled professional to help can allow them to zero in on what to look for. Speak with your CPA and/or lawyer for recommendations of a professional fraud investigator.

Preserve evidence.

Your computer can be a wealth of information when investigating. Your dental software often has backups automatically set to occur but can overwrite backups at a later date. Set your software for harder backups that can’t be erased easily and speak to your dental software customer service about “ghosting” which allows a back up to be done that also gives you views of temporary folders that may not be included in a standard back up.

Do not place “bait.”

Baiting does not offer concrete answers and can cause more confusion and suspicion. Not worth it.

Do not change financial protocols.

Large changes can cause suspicion and lead to the thief retreating or changing their habits.

Do not report the incident to police.

If contacting police before having gathered evidence, it can actually limit and hurt your ability to deal with a thief.

Do not confront the suspect.

Wait for the appropriate time, rushing a confrontation can hurt you.

Do not contact insurance companies.

Until evidence is gathered, insurance companies can hold the dentist responsible. Wait until evidence is gathered and an intermediary is used to clear up the situation.

Whatever you do, don’t fire anyone until evidence has been gathered.

This goes against all other steps since it can tip them off, prevent your ability to gather evidence and they could end up suing YOU for wrongful termination.