Risk Management

Family Bonding: Adelphia’s Rigases Going to Prison

Ex-CFO and his father, Adelphia's founder, to begin serving terms Aug. 13 after judge says "too much time has elapsed" on bail pending their appeal.
Stephen TaubJune 27, 2007

Former Adelphia Communications CFO Timothy Rigas and his father, Adelphia founder John Rigas, are headed for prison.

The men were ordered today to begin their terms on Aug. 13, nearly three years after they were convicted in one of the signature corporate frauds of the new millennium. Father and son were free on bail pending their appeal. “Too much time has elapsed,” said U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Sand, according to an Associated Press report.

Timothy Rigas, 51, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and 82-year-old John Rigas to 15 years. In May, a federal appeals court had upheld all but one count of their convictions on charges of securities fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and bank fraud at what had been the fifth-largest cable company before its collapse in 2002.

The Adelphia case ranks among the most egregious frauds in corporate history. At their trial, the Rigases were accused by prosecutors of hiding nearly $2.3 billion in Adelphia debt from stockholders, making the company appear in much better financial shape than it was.

In addition, the men were accused of profligately spending millions of corporate dollars on such things as flying eggs, paper towels, and two Christmas trees by jet to Timothy Rigas’s daughter in New York, and the purchase of 100 pairs of bedroom slippers for the CFO, according to the AP.

Last year, his brother, Michael Rigas, was sentenced to 10 months of home confinement after pleading guilty to making a false entry in a company record.