Former Adelphia Communications chairman John Rigas, 78, was the latest corporate wrongdoer to make a New York court appearance this week, as the cabler’s founder, two of his sons, and former finance exec Michael C. Mulcahey pleaded not guilty in a New York court Wednesday to a 23-count indictment of defrauding the cabler of more than $2.5 billion.
The latest indictment makes some technical changes to original accusations that Rigas, former chief financial officer Timothy Rigas and Michael Rigas hid $2.3 billion in debt and illegally used company funds to pay for stock purchases and personal expenses before they were arrested last summer. Company is making its way out of restructuring under bankruptcy.
The cable quartet allegedly inflated Adelphia’s pretax earnings by $370 million between 2000 and 2001 and dressed up subscriber numbers to disguise the company’s true fiscal health.
The Securities & Exchange Commission is seeking damages of $1 billion in a civil fraud suit that accuses the Rigases of “concealed rampant self-dealing.”