Fraudster Cable Boss Rigas, 82, Gets Fifteen Years

28 May 2007

NEW YORK: The Court of Appeals in Manhattan last week upheld the convictions of Adelphia Communications' founder and former chairman John Rigas, now in his eighty-third year. The court also reached a like verdict on his son, the company's former cfo, Timothy Rigas.

Charged with securities fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and bank fraud, father and son are to serve respective sentences of fifteen and twenty years. Rigas senior, if fate allows him to serve his full term, will be 97 when he emerges from jail.

In the unsuccessful appeal against the sentences, it was argued that the charges should be thrown out because accounting terms were not explained to the jury by an accounting expert.

The presiding judge flatly rejected that argument in his verdict: "Defendants are wrong," he wrote. The government "was not required to present expert testimony about accounting requirements because [these] are not essential to the securities fraud".

Data sourced from USA Today; additional content by WARC staff