Risk Management

Terms Begin for the Rigases

82-year-old Adelphia founder John Rigas and his son, former CFO Timothy Rigas, report to North Carolina federal prison facing long sentences.
Stephen TaubAugust 13, 2007

Adelphia Communications founder John Rigas and son Timothy Rigas, its former CFO, reported to North Carolina’s Butner Federal Correctional Complex to begin serving their long prison terms.

The two cable company executives were convicted in 2004 of securities fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and bank fraud stemming from their roles in one of the more spectacular bankruptcies of the new millennium. In June 2005, John Rigas, who is 82 years old, was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Timothy Rigas, 51, was sentenced to 20 years.

However, they had remained free while their appeals wound through the legal system. In June, a judge said their terms needed to begin within a few weeks.

The Butner complex is located about 45 minutes northwest of Raleigh, according to an Associated Press report about the Rigases being imprisoned. The father and son had requested to be sent together to a facility close to their homes in Coudersport, Pa.

Michael Rigas, another son of John Rigas, received 10 months of home confinement and 10 years probation after pleading guilty to making a false entry in a company record.

At the time of John Rigas’s sentencing, U.S. District Judge Leonard Sand reportedly told him: “Were it not for your age and health, I would impose a sentence far greater than I do today.” Judge Sand said that if, after two years of the senior Rigas’s term, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons concludes that he has less than three months to live, it can ask for a modification of his sentence, according to Bloomberg News. “One shrinks from, no matter how horrendous the crime, the prospect of someone dying in a prison hospital,” the judge said at the time.