New Guilty Plea in Adelphia Scandal

14 January 2003

Another former executive of scandal-hit US cable company Adelphia Communications has plead guilty to fraud charges and is now cooperating with prosecutors, strengthening the case against the firm’s controlling Rigas clan.

Quondam accounting director Timothy Werth pleaded guilty to securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud. These charges carry seven-figure fines and a fifteen-year jail term, though these penalties will likely be diluted in return for cooperation.

Adelphia’s founder, John Rigas, and two of his sons, Timothy and Michael, are accused of ransacking the firm’s accounts and lying to investors. Werth’s former boss James Brown pleaded guilty in November [WAMN: 15-Nov-02].

“I deeply regret my participation in this fraud,” Werth told the US District Court in Manhattan. “I knew at that time that what I was doing was wrong and that I should have walked out rather than agree to participate. But I didn't and I accept full responsibility for my actions. I sincerely apologize to the people who were harmed by my conduct.”

The Rigases are scheduled to go on trial on January 5 2004. Werth is expected to testify ahead of his sentencing on February 24 2004.

Data sourced from: Washington Post Online; additional content by WARC staff