Dubuque veterinarian pleads guilty in bogus dog prescription program | USAO-NDIA

A licensed Iowa veterinarian who wrote Tramadol prescriptions for fake dogs to obtain the controlled substance from local pharmacies pleaded guilty today in federal court in Cedar Rapids. Kristi Michelle Schreiber, 42, of Dubuque, Iowa, was found guilty of one count of acquiring a controlled substance through misrepresentation, fraud, deception and subterfuge.

At the plea hearing and in a plea agreement, Schreiber admitted that she is a licensed veterinarian in the state of Iowa and practices as an associate veterinarian at a pet clinic in Dubuque. From February 2019 at the latest to February 2021 at the latest, Schreiber wrote fake and fraudulent tramadol prescriptions for dogs that either didn’t exist or weren’t needed. Tramadol is a Schedule IV controlled substance. Tramadol is a centrally acting opioid analgesic used to treat moderate pain. According to the American Kennel Club, tramadol is a drug that veterinarians commonly prescribe to manage pain in dogs, and it’s one of the few human pain relievers that can be safely given to dogs.

In March 2021, a Dubuque drugstore chain reported Schreiber’s diversion of tramadol to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Drug Control Division. The DEA conducted an inspection of the pet clinic where Schreiber works and requested records of some dogs that Schreiber had written prescriptions for, but Schreiber was unable to produce all of the records. Schreiber falsely told the DEA that some of the dogs were pets of “close friends” and also that she would “pick [the prescriptions] for friends and family because I want to make sure the dog gets it. Schreiber later admitted that she took all the tramadol herself. The investigation found that between March 10, 2019 and March 9, 2021, Schreiber issued a total of 266 prescriptions for animals that were allegedly in his care. Of these 266 prescriptions, 186 (approximately 70%) were for Tramadol HCL 50 mg tablets.

Sentencing before U.S. District Court Judge CJ Williams will be set after a pre-sentence report is prepared. Schreiber was released on bail pending sentencing. Schreiber faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison, a $250,000 fine and one year of supervised release after any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Timothy L. Vavricek and has been investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Drug Control Division.

Information on the court file at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.

The file number is 22-CR-1012.

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