Pyro chiro convicted of arson

Published: 2011-03-02 20:28:43
Author: Peter Hall | THE MORNING CALL | March 1, 2011

Jurors on Tuesday rejected a former Bucks County chiropractor's testimony that he was assaulted by Spanish-speaking gang members before an explosion and fire destroyed his Nockamixon Township practice in 2008.

Jonathan P. Wiktorchik Jr. was convicted of six counts including arson, insurance fraud and lying to investigators after a week-long trial before U.S. District Judge Robert F. Kelly in Philadelphia. The jury of 12 women acquitted Wiktorchik on a single count that he allegedly lied when he told IRS agents records they wanted were destroyed in the fire.

Wiktorchik faces a mandatory-minimum prison term of 15 years, with a maximum possible sentence of 63 years, and a fine of up to $1.5 million. Sentencing is scheduled June 3.

Wiktorchik, 59, of Southampton, Bucks County, testified Monday that he didn't initially tell authorities about the assault and explosion because one of the gang members threatened to kill his family after he interrupted a burglary at the practice. Instead, he explained burns on his hands and face saying that a woodstove had backfired while he was camping with his son.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jose Arteaga presented testimony that painted Wiktorchik as a troubled businessman reeling from a 2007 health insurance fraud conviction, the subsequent suspension of his license and a looming IRS audit.

A forensic accountant testified that the practice brought in less money after Wiktorchik lost his license and he owed about $56,000 in payments on a spinal decompression machine.

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