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June 20, 2005

Rigases get long sentences for Adelphia fraud

As detailed in this Bloomberg report, "John Rigas, the 80-year-old founder of Adelphia Communications Corp., was sentenced to 15 years in prison and his son Timothy, the ex-finance chief, got 20 years, for looting the company and lying about its finances."  Background on these cases and the sentencing claims made by the prosecution and defense can be found in this post.

Here are some more interesting snippets from the article, which includes lots of comments from the sentencing made by US District Judge Leonard Sand:

Sand said Rigas had "long ago'' set Adelphia "on a track of lying, of cheating, of defrauding.'' He said he would have sentenced Rigas to a longer term if not for his age and poor health....

Defense attorney Peter Fleming argued that many in Rigas's hometown of Coudersport, Pennsylvania, benefited from his charity. The judge was unmoved. "What he did to Coudersport, he did with assets and by means that were not appropriately his,'' Sand said. "To be a great philanthropist with other people's money is really not very persuasive.''...

John Rigas's sentence doesn't bode well for other CEOs recently found guilty of fraud. WorldCom Inc.'s Bernard Ebbers, who was convicted in March, and Tyco International Ltd.'s L. Dennis Kozlowski, convicted on Friday, are awaiting sentencing.

UPDATE: Over at the White Collar Crime Prof Blog, Peter Henning in this post and Ellen Podgor in this post provide two interesting perspectives on the Rigas sentencings.

June 20, 2005 at 05:59 PM | Permalink


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I am an MBA student at Syracuse University. Good summary for my financial management class.

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