Dental Embezzlement FAQ
Here are the fraud & embezzlement questions asked by most dentists and practice owners. This FAQ is regularly updated.
“If you can’t find the answer here, click the button below to ask me a question and receive a private reply.”
William Hiltz BSc MBA CET
Frequently Asked Question
DO YOU CONDUCT DENTAL EMBEZZLEMENT INVESTIGATIONS?
Yes. Since 2004, I have conducted hundreds of embezzlement investigations.
In most cases, I begin this work by conducting a Diagnostic Fraud Examination to uncover evidence that a current (or former) employee has embezzled.
If the evidence shows that dental embezzlement occurred, the next step is to determine when the thefts first began and the total dollar amount that was stolen. This information can be used to support the recovery or prosecution objectives of the dentist.
Dental Embezzlement Investigations are performed by Hiltz & Associates, the company behind Dental FraudBusters.
WHAT OTHER SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE?
Here is a partial list of the services provided by Hiltz and Associates – the company behind Dental FraudBusters.
Fraud Examinations (investigate fraud by a business partner, an associate or employee)
Fraud Prevention: (reduce opportunity for theft)
Data Audit and Assessments: (data retention, data quality, data consolidation)
Expert Consultant to Dental Attorneys
Unethical business conduct involving dentists or practice owners. Digital forensics: discovering who did what, and when on a dental computer.
Learn more: Expert Witness for Dental Attorneys
WHERE CAN I FIND DENTAL EMBEZZLEMENT CASES?
HOW MUCH DOES A EMBEZZLEMENT INVESTIGATION COST?
Every case is unique. Every situation is different
As such, the fees will vary depending on the complexity of investigation, any on-site conditions and economic best effort.
For most dental practices, we can conduct a comprehensive investigations and render an expert report for a fixed fee basis.
To learn more: Download Published Fee Guide
Embezzlement investigations are performed by Hiltz & Associates, the company behind Dental FraudBusters.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO INVESTIGATE EMBEZZLEMENT?
A good reason is because it is a crime. Dental embezzlement is a statutory offense under state law, federal law, or both.
A better reason is to protect the practice owner. It’s important to investigate and document what happened for assurance purposes.
In the event the practice owner is ever challenged, they will be able to demonstrate they conducted reasonable diligence to determine if the embezzlement affected other victims. (e.g.: patients, insurance companies, financial institutions)
Failure to investigate and document dental embezzlement often results in unplanned and unexpected consequences for the practice owner, including:
• a loss of professional credibility
• increased risk of a legal or regulatory challenge
• practice goodwill
• ethical frictions between dentist and employees
• insurance company audits
WHAT IS AN AUDIT TRAIL, AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
An audit trail (or “audit log”) can help to determine who did what, and when on a computer. From this history can be reconstructed.
Maintaining proper audit logs is often a regulatory requirement for healthcare professions, as well as an accounting best practice.
A typical dental practice can have dozens of different audit logs including; remote access, security, application, email and practice management software logs (to name a few)
The audit logs obtained from dental practice management software (e.g.: Dentrix, Open Dental, Eaglesoft) are often used in conjunction with other information in a dental embezzlement investigation.
HOW CAN I PREVENT EMBEZZLEMENT IN MY PRACTICE?
Preventing fraud and embezzlement can be easy if you follow the tips, take the courses and use the tools here on Dental FraudBusters.
Fraud prevention assessments and advice are available from Hiltz & Associates, the company behind Dental FraudBusters.
MANAGING DENTAL EMBEZZLEMENT
DOES MY BUSINESS INSURANCE COVER EMPLOYEE THEFT?
Yes, you can claim loses as a result of employee theft if your business insurance policy includes employee dishonesty coverage. (also called “crime insurance”)
Many business owner policies include employee dishonesty coverage ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, which is not enough.
Coverage should be $50K or more, and include ‘claim expense’ coverage.
Click here to learn more: Does my practice have crime insurance?
WILL I BE REQUIRED TO FILE A POLICE REPORT?
No, you will not be required to make a report to law enforcement.
There are exceptions, for example:
If the embezzler is a member of a regulated profession (e.g.: a dentist), you may have an obligation to report, or if other concurrent crimes were committed, such as controlled substance theft and prescription fraud.