Former execs free on bail during appeal

NEW YORK — A judge on Wednesday ordered Adelphia founder John Rigas and his son, Timothy Rigas, to report to prison Aug. 13, nearly three years after they were convicted of one of the largest corporate frauds in U.S. history.

Both former executives at one of the nation’s largest cable companies had been free on bail while they appealed, but U.S. District Judge Leonard Sand said the time had come for the two to start paying their debt to society. Neither the 82-year-old Rigas patriarch nor his 51-year-old son reacted visibly to the judge’s order, which had been expected.

A federal appeals court had cleared the way for the pair to begin serving time in May, when it upheld all but one count of their convictions on multiple charges of securities fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud.

John Rigas was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Timothy Rigas, the company’s former chief financial officer, was sentenced to 20 years.

Prosecutors at the trial said the Rigases had concealed nearly $2.3 billion in Adelphia debt from stockholders, making the company look good even though its finances had became dangerously overextended. They also accused the family of using the company as their personal ATM.

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