Terminally ill Adelphia founder Rigas released early from prison

A federal judge has granted an early prison release for Adelphia Communications Corp. founder John Rigas, who is dying of cancer.

Rigas, 91, has been slated for release in January 2018 after serving a 12-year sentence in connection to a $1.9 billion looting and debt-hiding scandal that also involved his 59-year-old son, Timothy Rigas, and ultimately led to the collapse of Adelphia. 

Federal prosecutors had recommended early release for Rigas, who has been diagnosed with terminal Stage IV bladder cancer with metastases to the lungs. His life expectancy is six months or less.

Adelphia was once the third largest cable MSO, with more than 5 million subscribers,

The Rigases were convicted on charges of wire and securities fraud in 2004, a scandal that rocked the cable industry and cratered the stocks of public MSOs. They began serving their prison terms at a jail in North Carolina in 2007. In November 2011, they were transferred to Allenwood, Penn. Both are now housed at USP Canaan in Waymart, Penn.

Tim Rigas is scheduled to be released in June 2022.

Prosecutors accused Rigas and others of using Adelphia's financial ledger as a personal piggy bank, while executing complicated cash-management systems to spread money around to various family-owned entities and as a cover for stealing about $100 million.

For more:
- read this Reuters story

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