2 women separately charged with forging prescription slips

A 28-year-old woman has been charged with allegedly forging more than 40 prescription slips to obtain oxycodone tablets.

 

Charges against Shannon Lee Auldridge include scheme to defraud, 41 counts of second-degree forgery, second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance and 41 counts of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance.  

The scheme to defraud charge, a class B felony with an imposable sentence of no more than 10 years, alleges Auldridge forged prescriptions using the name of a Central Peninsula Hospital family practice physician, Gonzalo Araoz-Fraser. 

Using the forged prescriptions between August 2010 and May 2011, Auldridge obtained tablets from Safeway in Kenai and Soldotna, Three Bears, Fred Meyer and Walmart, according to a Feb. 17 indictment. 

The 41 second-degree forgery charges, class C felonies, specify dates and locations on which the defendant used forged prescriptions to obtain 180 oxycodone tablets, according to the indictment. 

The remaining grand jury charges stem from Auldridge allegedly possessing a controlled substance illegally.

Soldotna Police Officer David Bower and Dr. Araoz-Fraser are listed on the indictment as witnesses examined before a grand jury. 

Araoz-Fraser did not return a call for comment Friday afternoon. It could not be confirmed if Auldridge was the physician’s patient. 

Auldridge has no criminal record in Alaska except two minor traffic violations in 1999. 

Arraignment is set for Tuesday at the Kenai Courthouse. 

A similar indictment with fewer charges recently was imposed on a Homer woman of the same age. 

On Feb. 15, Kenai police received a report from the office of Dr. Michael Merrick in Kenai of possible prescription fraud from a local physician. 

Investigation led to the arrest of Sara L. Brooks, 28, of Homer, on two counts of second-degree theft, three counts of second-degree forgery, five counts of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance and one count of fifth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance. 

Merrick’s office manager provided an officer with copies of three prescriptions dated Feb. 10 for Brooks supposedly signed by the family physician for valium and Suboxone. The office manager explained Merrick did not write the prescriptions, and the handwriting did not match with anyone in the office. The third prescription was written by Merrick, but the number of pills prescribed was altered from 10 to 60, according to court records. 

Later, Merrick confirmed he did not write two of the prescriptions, according to court records. 

Brooks allegedly visited Merrick’s office on Feb. 10 complaining of a pelvic infection. After an examination, it was determined Brooks’ health was normal. Merrick said Brooks knew where the prescription pads were located, on the counter or in a drawer in the patient’s room, according to court records. 

Brooks is currently on felony probation for second-degree forgery. The 2010 case was reopened following the new indictment. She has no criminal record except minor charges. 

Brooks remains at Wildwood Pretrial Facility.

A preliminary hearing is set for March 5 at the Kenai Courthouse. 

 

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