Cable Operators

Adelphia: Rigas Family Owes Us $3.2B

8/24/2004 6:22 AM Eastern

Adelphia Communications Corp. claimed that its founding Rigas family owes the MSO more than $3.2 billion.

The operator filed papers with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan Friday in an attempt to collect, Dow Jones reported.

A hearing on Adelphia's request was scheduled for Oct. 22, and objections are due Sept. 17, according to Dow Jones.

The MSO claimed that founder and former chairman John Rigas, former chief financial officer Timothy Rigas, former executive vice president of operations Michael Rigas and former executive VP of strategic planning James Rigas -- in addition to private companies they started -- are liable for years of debt created by taking funds from the company’s operations.

Adelphia also wants the court to create a constructive trust that would confiscate any money or property, including cable systems, the Rigases obtained from the use of Adelphia funds or credits, making them property of the company's estate, Dow Jones reported.

"The books and records of Adelphia reveal benefits to the Rigases as of April 30, 2002, of $3,232,373,940 at the expense of Adelphia," the filing said, according to Reuters.

On July 8, John and Tim Rigas were convicted on 18 counts of fraud and conspiracy. The next day, a mistrial was declared on 17 counts in the indictment against Michael Rigas.

James Rigas was never charged criminally. And former assistant treasurer Michael Mulcahey was acquitted of all charges against him July 8.