John, Timothy Rigas Lose Appeals


Former Adelphia Communications executives John Rigas and his son, Timothy Rigas, lost the appeals of their July 2004 convictions on federal conspiracy and fraud charges and moved another step closer to having to serve their prison terms.

The Rigases were convicted in federal court in Manhattan in 2004 on 18 counts of conspiracy, securities fraud and bank fraud, stemming from the massive accounting scandal that bankrupted the cable company.

John Rigas, the founder and former chairman of Adelphia, was sentenced in June 2005 to 15 years in prison. Timothy, Adelphia’s former chief financial officer, was sentenced to a 20-year prison term.

Another son, former Adelphia chief operating officer Michael Rigas, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge in March 2006 -- he was sentenced to two years’ probation and a $2,000 fine -- after a jury could not reach a decision regarding his earlier charges.

Former Adelphia assistant treasurer Michael Mulcahey was acquitted of all charges.

John and Timothy Rigas immediately appealed their convictions -- their main claim was that federal prosecutors did not call expert accounting witnesses during their original trial to explain the complex financial issues surrounding the alleged conspiracy -- which has kept them out of jail.

A panel of three judges at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld those convictions -- save for one count of bank fraud -- in a 55-page decision issued May 24.

The Rigases can still appeal their convictions to the full panel of Appeals Court judges, as well as to the Supreme Court.