Former Adelphia Communications Corp. chairman John Rigas ran up company-backed debt in bid to build up the MSO he founded, his defense lawyer said in his closing statement Friday, Dow Jones reported.
“There is not a speck of evidence, I believe, of any credibility in this case that John Rigas wanted to walk away,” attorney Peter Fleming said as he urged jurors to acquit his client. “I believe all the evidence in this case supports the rationality, the common sense that this adventure, this commitment of capital, this entry of debt would be worth it.”
John Rigas, sons Michael and Timothy and former assistant treasurer Michael Mulcahey are charged with 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy for allegedly defrauding investors and bilking the company of hundreds of millions of dollars for their personal use.
Fleming said Adelphia’s public filings disclosed that the maximum amount of debt that the family could draw on credit lines the company guaranteed, Dow Jones reported. They also disclosed that the family was buying a lot of Adelphia stock and bonds, he added.
Directors and others endorsed the Rigas family’s purchases of Adelphia securities as moves that were in the company’s best interest, Fleming said.