Case in point

Practice makes imperfect

Charismatic fraudster drains physicians' practice

Everybody loved Dr. Brian. He appeared to be the perfect professional, spouse, parent and friend. But he fooled everybody. At least for a while. Here’s how he, as the lead administrative physician of a once-thriving practice, skimmed and embezzled more than $25 million in 20 years.

Each of the 2,690 real cases of occupational fraud reported in the ACFE’s 2018 Report to the Nations has a unique story behind it. Here’s one from investigating CFEs. 

Fraudsters are often able to deceive their victims for long periods of time through gained trust and personability. These cases cut their victims the deepest because they’ve not only lost money, they’ve been personally betrayed. That was the case with a medical practice that housed a charismatic fraudster for two decades.

Twelve practitioners established Total Primary Care Pros with the friendly Dr. Brian (names have been changed) as the lead administrative physician. Charismatic Brian was a well-liked figure in the community. He appeared to be the perfect professional, spouse, parent and friend — the type of person you point to as an example for others.

The practice buzzed with activity for nearly 20 years, but the physicians noticed they were losing money, despite producing substantial revenues. Some of the physicians became suspicious that something was going on. Many were operating at a loss month after month. Millions of dollars seemed to simply disappear. Some of the physicians believed many of the expenses the practice charged to them seemed exorbitant. Several of them left the practice over the years. Eventually, we discovered that more than $25 million had been skimmed and embezzled in the 20-year period.

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