New Allegation at Rigas Trial


A new allegation entered the mix at the Adelphia Communications Corp. fraud trial Monday.

According to AP, a prosecutor said the MSO funded former chairman John Rigas’ private acquisitions of certain cable systems, and the government will recall his former account, Christopher Thurner, to testify about those transactions, possibly as soon as Tuesday.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Owens, Adelphia would send checks directly to the seller, then book the amount as a receivable owed by John Rigas or another Rigas family member. Rigas agreed to acquire these cable systems for his private businesses in the early 1990s, but payments related to them continued into 1999, AP reported.

John Rigas, his sons -- former chief financial officer Timothy Rigas and former executive vice president of operations Michael Rigas -- and former director of internal reporting Michael Mulcahey are on trial for 24 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud and securities fraud. All four men have pleaded not guilty.

Also Monday, former VP of finance Jim Brown testified that he told Michael Rigas certain transactions with set-top-box vendor Scientific-Atlanta Inc. were meant to manipulate Adelphia's financial results, AP said.

Brown said he recalled telling Michael Rigas, "It was critical that we get the deals done with Scientific-Atlanta or we would miss the numbers we were reporting."

Brown pleaded guilty to conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud in November 2002.