King County (Washington) prosecutors have charged the owner of Peak Performance Physical Therapy with first-degree theft, accusing James Gordon Aiton of falsely billing the Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) for more than $375,000 worth of treatments his company never performed.
If convicted, Aiton could be ordered to repay the amount of the alleged false billings, plus a $20,000 fine. First-degree theft also carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. No trial date has been set.
L&I began investigating the company in 2000 after an L&I nurse consultant noticed a billing discrepancy. An audit and investigation by L&I’s Provider Fraud program reportedly determined that the company had billed L&I for thousands of therapy sessions that never occurred. The case is part of a broader effort to crack down on those who attempt to cheat the workers’ compensation system.
As a result of another L&I investigation, a Lynnwood man has pleaded guilty in Snohomish County Superior Court and been sentenced to four months in jail for reportedly falsely filing 13 injured-worker claims in order to receive prescription drugs.
Arnie Lou Zinke has been in the Snohomish County Jail since July 27. A restitution hearing is set for Dec. 3.
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