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Nov. 21, 2005

Peak Performance Physical Therapy owner convicted of first-degree theft

TUMWATER — The former owner of Peak Performance Physical Therapy will be sentenced Jan. 6, 2006, for overbilling the Department of Labor & 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 guilty of first-degree theft. Aiton owned Peak Performance Physical Therapy clinics in Burien, Des Moines and Vashon Island.

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 23 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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The former operator of Peak Performance Physical Therapy clinics in Burien, Des Moines and Vashon Island will be sentenced Jan. 6 for overbilling the Department of Labor & Industries for treatments his clinics didn’t provide to injured workers.

L&I said that its investigation of James Gordon Aiton and Peak Performance Physical Therapy led to King County prosecutors filing charges. On Nov. 10, a Superior Court jury found Aiton guilty of first-degree theft.

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For media information: Robert T. Nelson, L&I Public Affairs, 360-902-6043 or nelq235@LNI.wa.gov, or visit the L&I News and Media Center at www.lni.wa.gov/News.

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