US Justices Reject Appeal by Adelphia Founder, Son

By Reuters -  |  Posted 2008-03-03 Print this article Print

The high court declines to review appeals case by Adelphia founder John Rigas and his son, who a jury previously found guilty of fraud.  

WASHINGTON, March 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court rejected on Monday an appeal by Adelphia Communications Corp founder John Rigas and his son Timothy of their conspiracy and fraud convictions.

The justices declined to review a ruling by a U.S. appeals court in New York which upheld the pair's convictions on 22 of 23 counts of conspiracy and securities and bank fraud.

A jury found the father and son guilty in 2004 of the charges that accused them of concealing loans and stealing millions from the cable operator.

John Rigas, formerly Adelphia's president and chief executive officer, was sentenced in 2005 to 15 years in prison, while Timothy Rigas, the former finance chief, was sentenced to 20 years. They began serving their prison terms last year.

In the appeal, defense attorneys argued that federal prosecutors were required to prove that John and Timothy Rigas had violated Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or call an expert accounting witness in order to convict them of securities fraud.

The attorneys also argued that the reversal by the appeals court of the bank fraud convictions on count 23 for John and Timothy Rigas required the reversal of their bank fraud convictions on count 22.

The Supreme Court rejected the appeal without any comment or recorded dissent.

After the Enron and WorldCom cases, Adelphia was one of the U.S. Justice Department's highest-profile corporate fraud prosecutions in recent years. The father and son were accused of looting the company to pay for personal land deals and vacation homes.

Adelphia was the fifth-largest U.S. cable firm before its 2002 collapse. Its cable system assets have been sold to Comcast Corp and Time Warner Inc.

(Reporting by James Vicini, Editing by Dave Zimmerman)


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