Former COO accused of using company credit card to pay for personal vacations, gifts

Man took lavish vacations, bought expensive gifts on company's dime, police say

BLAIRSVILLE, Pa. — An Indiana County man is accused of taking lavish vacations and buying expensive gifts by making his company pay for it.

Peter Grabaskas is accused of stealing from Phoenix Rehabilitation and Health Services Inc. in Blairsville while he was the chief operating officer.

He's accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the company so he could live a lavish lifestyle.

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Channel 11 got a copy of the court paperwork that explains how he worked his way up through the company after he was hired in 2014.

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According to police, the spending spree began when Grabaskas became COO in 2016 and was given a corporate credit card.

Investigators say credit card statements showed he spent tens of thousands of dollars on personal trips to the Virgin Islands, Canada and many other places.

According to the criminal complaint, he also bought expensive gifts for his girlfriend and paid for equestrian events for his daughter.

Court paperwork obtained by Channel 11 shows he admitted to owing the company more than $45,000 on those credit cards and was supposed to pay the president of the company back for $250,000 in personal loans, but never did.

David D. Watson, president and CEO of Phoenix, told police he loaned Grabaskas the money for his daughter's equestrian training in Europe.

Grabaskas was fired last fall, but charges were just filed this week.

Watson sent Channel 11 the following statement regarding the charges against the company's former executive:

"PHOENIX Rehabilitation and Health Services commits to providing our patients and referral sources with personalized health care services to meet their unique needs. We've built our culture around our 20 Fundamentals which outline the values and behaviors we live by as PHOENIX team members. We don't comment specifically on past employees who violate one or more of our Fundamentals or on any legal matters related to past employees. We do however take pride in our culture, our team and the success stories we hear from our amazing patients. PHOENIX is committed to continually providing the best care possible as we grow as a company."