'High Noon' for John Rigas

The disgraced former Adelphia Chairman is going to jail... but not quietly

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

August 6, 2007

1 Min Read
'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

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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