While every case of dental embezzlement is unique, they all share certain characteristics.
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- Most embezzlers are first time offenders who do not start intending to steal.
- Dental practice owners can reduce the possibility of hiring someone with a history of theft by conducting pre-employment background checks.
Familiarity and Trust
- After working at the practice for a year or more, until they earn the trust of the employer and are familiar with the way things work.
- They know what the employer looks at, and more importantly; what they do not look at
Encouragement and Confidence
- Most embezzlers become surprised at how easy it is to steal from the practice.
- They start by stealing small amounts. Then as time passes and each successive theft is undetected; their confidence builds and the stealing increases.
Caught or Quit
- Embezzlers will continue to steal until they are caught or leave the practice.
- Schemes can go on for many months or years. Some practice owners choose to fire the embezzler, leaving them free to prey upon the next dental practice.
- Practice owners that have employee dishonesty insurance can make a claim for losses however, in most cases the claim amount will exceed typical coverage limits of $10K to $25K.
- More than 40% of practice owners receive no financial restitution.
- A criminal conviction can be obtained by a guilty plea, or through prosecution supported by clear and compelling evidence.
- Many embezzlers are first-time offenders who avoid prison by being placed on house arrest.
- Court ordered victim restitution can be difficult to collect.