Suzanne Kraus of Wilton Manors, Florida was arrested after she was accused of using her dog’s name to file for fraudulent prescriptions, news sources report. Kraus, 41, was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs, attempting to obtain controlled substance by fraud, uttering a forgery, and petit theft. It is unclear whether she has qualified for bail bond. It is also not yet known whether she has hired a criminal defense lawyer.
According to reports, Kraus worked for the Floresta Animal Hospital between September 2010 and September 2012. The manager at the department said someone had burglarized the office only a month after Kraus’s employment; it is unclear what was taken, but the perpetrator was never arrested. Kraus eventually left her position at that office; she began working for the Coral Ridge Animal Hospital in Fort Lauderdale sometime later. So far, the Coral Ridge Animal Hospital has remained silent regarding the allegations against Kraus. It is not clear whether the arrest has compromised Kraus’s employment with the hospital.
The alleged fraud began in July 2012. Kraus reportedly stole a prescription pad from the Floresta Animal Hospital and began writing prescriptions for Hydrocodone using the fake name “Higgins Canine Kraus” and the signature of her employer. The name Higgins was the name of Kraus’s dog, which had been put to sleep in June 2012. In this manner, Kraus reportedly filled out prescriptions for a total of 240 hydrocodone pills, for which she paid $215.99.
In January 2013, Kraus went to a Walgreens Pharmacy with the prescription for Higgins Canine Kraus, signed by a veterinarian from Floresta Animal Hospital. The suspicious pharmacist called the animal and spoke with the veterinarian, who immediately said the prescription was false and that the pad used to make it had been stolen from her office.
On February 8, detectives spoke with Kraus outside of her work at the Coral Ridge Animal Hospital. The officers said they had found fraudulent prescriptions that she had filed under the name “Higgins.” Kraus reportedly said she once had a dog named Higgins, then said she had friends who abused prescription painkillers.
Detectives say Kraus smelled of alcohol during the questioning. When asked about the odor, she allegedly said, “I had drinks this morning … I’m just depressed and I had a couple of drinks.” Kraus reportedly indicated that her friends might have been at fault for the fraud.
Kraus later admitted to stealing three prescription sheets and filing the fraudulent prescriptions, reports say. She told detectives that she needed the painkillers because she had injured her back and could not afford health insurance. “I have not seen a case where they forge a prescription in the name of their dog,” a state attorney spokesperson said. “I’m not surprised by it. I have seen desperate people do desperate things.”
“Although we are making progress in the fight against prescription drug abuse, the job isn’t finished yet,” a police spokesperson said regarding the case. “I’ve been working on this issue for over a decade … and I’ve never seen this. But nothing surprises me anymore.”
Sources: 4.2.13 Kraus Prescription Fraud.pdf.