SANATOGA PA – Check forgery and identity theft crimes perpetrated three years ago by a former employee of American Dental Service, 1867 E. High St., were cited as an example last week (Jan. 7, 2009) by a blogger associated with the dentistry industry to show why dentists must conduct background checks on new hires.
Grover Michael Cowan, 35, formerly of West Reading PA, was sentenced during December 2008 in Montgomery County (PA) Court to 2 to 7 years in state prison after he pleaded guilty to crimes he committed at the Sanatoga dentist’s office between 2005 and 2006, according to The (Pottstown PA) Mercury newspaper.
Blogger Teresa Duncan, a certified fraud examiner who reportedly teaches for the national Association of Dental Implant Auxiliaries, suggests Cowan should never have been hired.
“Cowan already had a criminal conviction under his belt for a similar crime and was out on parole when the dental theft occurred. This is a textbook example of why you should thoroughly check out potential hires,” Duncan told readers of her Dental Implant Blog. “Cowan hit a jackpot by finding a job that allowed him to deal so closely with (a) patient’s financial information,” she added, referencing The Mercury article.
“Moral of the story,” Duncan concluded, “run a background check and call references on all new applicants. This should be included in your employment applications. Don’t lose a dollar to employee theft – it’s preventable.”
Duncan, president of Virginia-based Odyssey Management Inc., said she writes about dental practice management, dental implants and oral health care news. She holds a master’s degree in in healthcare management from Marymount University and has a “special interest in helping dentists identify and safeguard against employee embezzlement,” her blog reported.