Seventy-eight year old John Rigas, founder and former chairman of Adelphia Communications, the nation’s sixth largest cable-TV group, entered a plea of not guilty Wednesday at Manhattan’s US District Court.

Rigas, with his sons Timothy (46) and Michael (48) stood alongside two other Adelphia executives to face a 24-count indictment of misappropriating over $263 million in company funds for their personal use – with $12.8m of this devoted to constructing a golf course. The junior Rigases had respectively served as the group’s chief financial officer and chief financial officer.

Back-to-back with the beleaguered family are James R Brown (40), Adelphia’s former vice president of finance; and Michael C Mulcahey (45), erstwhile director of internal reporting.

According to US Attorney James Comey, the indicted quintet are responsible for “one of the most elaborate and extensive corporate frauds in United States history.” The indictment charges them with conspiracy, securities fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud.

All face up to thirty years in prison if convicted on the most serious charge, bank fraud. Meantime they remain free pending trial on bail or their own recognizance.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff