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'High Noon' for John Rigas

Former Adelphia Communications Chairman John Rigas, 82, is scheduled to report to prison this Sunday (Aug. 13), about three years after being convicted of fraud, but he isn't going quietly, offering his account to USA Today. (See Court Upholds Adelphia Convictions.)

Rigas, set to begin serving 15 years in a federal prison in Rochester, Minn., has not wavered in his plea of innocence ("there was no fraud," he claims), and maintained that he is being punished unfairly in the wake of massive scandals at Enron, Tyco, and Worldcom. As quoted:

It was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If this had happened a year before, there wouldn't have been any headlines.

He also likened his situation to that of Marshal Will Kane in the 1952 flick High Noon.

"I felt like I was Gary Cooper," Rigas says, a rare smile creasing his face. "Because all of this time people are saying, 'You can depend on us,' But when you really needed them, and expected them, they weren't to be found."

Also on Sunday, Timothy Rigas, 51, the son of John Rigas and Adelphia's former CFO, will begin serving his 20-year-sentence, but at a penitentiary in Elkton, Ohio, according to the paper.

Michael Rigas, another son of John Rigas and a former Adelphia exec, had earlier pled guilty to a lesser charge and received a lighter sentence -- 10 months of home confinement. In 2004, Michael, 53, was acquitted of charges of bank and securities fraud.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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