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Monday, July 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

High Court Nixes Appeal By Adelphia Founder

WASHINGTON (CN) - The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of Adelphia Communications founder John Rigas and his son, Timothy, who drove the fifth-largest cable television company into bankruptcy by withdrawing millions of dollars from the business to fund personal expenses, including 100 pairs of bedroom slippers and a $3 million film produced by John's daughter, Ellen.

The 2nd Circuit upheld their convictions for securities fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud. Defense counsel argued that the fraud charges should be thrown out because the defendants properly followed accounting rules while making the allegedly fraudulent transactions.

Prosecutors said John Rigas spent $26 million on 3,600 acres of forest to preserve the view outside his home. He also allegedly spent $6,000 to fly two Christmas trees to New York for his daughter.

The elder Rigas, 83, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for fraud, while Timothy Rigas, the company's former chief financial officer, is serving 20 years in jail.

Adelphia once served more than 5 million customers in 31 states, but collapsed in 2002. Comcast and Time Warner have since bought its cable assets.

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