A U.S. appeals court has upheld the criminal convictions of Adelphia Communications Corp. founder John Rigas and his son Timothy, on charges of concealing loans and stealing millions from the cable operator.The court did dismiss one count of bank fraud, but gave its assent to the remainder of the 17 fraud, securities fraud and conspiracy charges against the pair, who were originally convicted in July 2004 and sentenced to serve 15 years and 20 years, respectively. The men have remained free while pursing their appeals, and the appeals court said that they can now be resentenced, minus the single charge.
John Rigas, 82, and Timothy Rigas, 51, were accused of looting the company to pay for personal land deals and vacation homes.
The appeals court said that the defendants failed to show substantial errors by the district court for a reversal of the jury verdict -- specifically saying that the government was not required to present expert testimony about GAAP requirements because those requirements were not essential to the alleged securities fraud.
Adelphia filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2002. Its cable assets have been sold to Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Inc.
Another son and former Adelphia executive, Michael Rigas, was sentenced to 10 months of home confinement after admitting in 2005 that he filed a fraudulent form with the Securities and Exchange Commission, falsely stating that he had conducted an inquiry into the source of funds used for a purchase of Adelphia shares in late 1999.
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