Writer’s Choice

Case Narrative
Dr. David Glabman had always been skeptical about his employees stealing money
from him until he hired Shirley. When his previous receptionist left his practice, Dr.
Glabman and his wife, his office manager at the time, were looking for someone to fill
the position. They found Shirley through a temp agency.
Because of her commitment and hard work, Dr. Glabman decided to hire Shirley as his
new receptionist after only two weeks of observance. Shirley’s main functions as the
receptionist were coding, filing insurance, and recording charges and payments. Mrs.
Glabman occasionally checked Shirley’s work and found no mistakes.
After a few years of working for Dr. Glabman, Shirley was promoted to take over Mrs.
Glabman’s position as office manager. Shirley’s functions expanded to handling
collections, managing contracts, and converting Dr. Glabman’s practice to a new
computer system. Dr. Glabman was very impressed with her devotion to her work. In
fact, Shirley “was so devoted that she never left the office until her work was done, and
rarely took any vacations” (Glabman).
Even though Shirley took over as the new office manager, Mrs. Glabman continued to
check over Shirley’s work for several more weeks. She specifically concentrated on
Shirley’s day sheets. However, when Mrs. Glabman took a four-month fellowship in
another state, Dr. Glabman took over the bookkeeping, “but no one audited the day
sheets [as] Shirley continued to post charges and payments, and prepared the
deposits.” (Glabman)
Mrs. Glabman returned to Dr. Glabman’s practice after a year and decided to check up
on his practice’s finances. She immediately found obvious differences between what
the patients had paid in cash, as recorded in their superbills, and what cash that has
been deposited, as recorded on the deposit slips. Surprised, Mrs. Glabman went into
further investigation by checking the computer records. She found that some of the copayments had been adjusted and some had never been posted. Alarmed by the
discovery, she looked back over the day sheets dating back to when Shirley first
became the office manager. She learned that $5 to $10 weekly would be missing at
first, growing to approximately $200 a week. The estimated loss was about $10,000
over the year.
Distraught at this point, Mrs. Glabman called several of their patients who had paid cash
the previous week and requested them to send copies of their superbills and receipts to
Dr. Glabman’s home. She discovered that even though some of these patients were
billed for two different kinds of services, Shirley would only record one of them and
pocket the difference.
Both Dr. Glabman and Mrs. Glabman were “very disappointed to discover that someone
[they] had trusted had violated [their] confidence” (Glabman).
When Dr. Glabman and his wife hired an attorney to confront Shirley about the ‘missing’
funds, Shirley calmly denied the accusations and claimed that she could not account for
the missing cash. The attorney then terminated Shirley for gross negligence and
ordered her to gather her belongings and leave immediately. Dr. Glabman “met with the
staff and told them [Shirley] wasn’t coming back, apologizing that [he] couldn’t say
more.” (Glabman) He also decided not to report this incident to the police.
That was not the end of the story. After the incident, Shirley hired an attorney to fight
for the $3,000 unpaid vacation and bonus she claimed Dr. Glabman owed her. She
even filed a claim for unemployment insurance.
A few months after the incident, Dr. Glabman realized that his insurance policy covered
reimbursement for embezzlement. He filed and received a portion of the $10,000 loss.
However, it wasn’t until Dr. Glabman’s insurer sued Shirley for the reimbursement that
he found out that Shirley had declared personal bankruptcy several years earlier. He
also learned that Shirley had a vast amount of debt due to her rich lifestyle consisting of
an expensive car, jewelry and cosmetic surgery.
Question: What could have been done to prevent this scheme from occurring in
the first place, and how could it have been detected earlier