Risk Management

Cell Doors Stay Locked for Adelphia Duo

Judge rejects a bid for a new trial by the onetime cable company’s aged founder and his son.
Stephen TaubNovember 21, 2007

It looks like the aged founder of Adelphia Communications and his son won’t be getting out of prison for awhile. Their bid for a new trial was rejected on Tuesday by the judge who presided over the one in which they were convicted, the Associated Press reported.

Adelphia founder John Rigas and his son Timothy, the company’s former CFO, were found guilty in 2004 of securities fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and bank fraud in one of the most spectacular corporate collapses of the decade. John, 82, is likely never to leave prison if he serves his full 15-year sentence. Timothy was sentenced to 20 years. They reported to prison in August.

They asked U.S. District Judge Leonard Sand to order a new trial, asserting the government’s star witness — James Brown, Adelphia’s former vice president of finance — had perjured himself during their trial, according to the AP. But in his ruling, Sand said government lawyers persuasively demonstrated that Brown did not perjure himself. He added that “Brown was not the sole witness to testify with respect to the defendants’ fraudulent practices.”

The onetime cable company’s problems began in 2001, when it said billions of dollars in liabilities were not previously reported on its balance sheet, the AP noted. Adelphia filed for bankruptcy in 2002.

Prosecutors accused the Rigases of using Adelphia as a personal piggy bank. Michael Rigas, another son of John’s, received 10 months of home confinement after pleading guilty to making a false entry in a company record, according to the report.