Adelphia Pair Face Tax Evasion Charges

11 October 2005

Disgraced US cable magnate John Rigas and his son Timothy face further scandal after being indicted on tax evasion charges.

Father and son were found guilty last year of fraud and conspiracy, having "looted" Adelphia Communications, formerly America's fifth largest cable operation.

The company collapsed after its founder, Rigas senior (80), was sentenced to 15 years in jail. Timothy was told he must serve 20 years. Both men are currently free on bail while they appeal their convictions.

The latest charges, brought by a federal grand jury in Pennsylvania, allege that Rigas major and minor evaded $300 million (€247m; £170m) in income tax when they diverted $1.85bn in funds from Adelphia for their own personal use from 1989.

Says Peter Alvarado, a special agent at the US Internal Revenue Service: "The indictment ... demonstrates that corporate executives are held to the same standard as any American citizen when having to pay their federal income tax. They are not above the law."

If found guilty, father and son could get another 20 year prison sentence and a $1m fine. Their lawyers were not available for comment.

Adelphia's assets, meantime, have been acquired by media giant Time Warner and the number one US cable TV operator Comcast [WAMN: 22-Apr-05].

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff