Owner of Washington P.T. Clinics Convicted of Workers' Comp Theft

The former owner of three physical therapy clinics will be sentenced Jan. 6 for overbilling the Washington state Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) $375,000 for services his company didn't provide to injured workers.

Earlier this month, a King County Superior Court jury found James Gordon Aiton, the former owner of Peak Performance Physical Therapy, guilty of first-degree theft. Aiton owned Peak Performance Physical Therapy clinics in Burien, Des Moines and Vashon Island, all in Washington state.

The jury found that between January 1998 and September 2001, Aiton fraudulently billed L&I for services his clinics didn't provide.

Peak Performance's billing practices were investigated by L&I fraud investigators, who turned the case over to King County prosecutors.

"We are grateful for King County's successful prosecution of this case," said Carl Hammersburg, manager of L&I's Fraud Prevention and Compliance Program.

In fiscal 2005, L&I's Fraud Prevention and Compliance Program turned over to county prosecutors 19 criminal investigations and recovered more than $105 million in delinquent insurance premiums and overpayments to providers and claimants.

L&I manages Washington's workers' compensation system, which provides insurance coverage for about 161,000 employers and 2.3 million workers.

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