Judge orders Rigases to prison


Three years after their conviction for corporate fraud, Adelphia Communications Corp. founder John Rigas and his son Timothy will finally start their prison terms in mid-August, a judge ruled Wednesday.

The father, the former cable company's chairman and CEO, and son, its CFO, have remained free on bail while they pursued an appeal, which they lost last month.

On Wednesday, U.S. district Judge Leonard Sand set a surrender date of Aug. 13, arguing that too much time has elapsed between the verdict and the start of their sentences.

John Rigas, 82, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, while Timothy, 51, was sentenced to 20 years.

A sentencing judge previously signaled that the elder Rigas' prison sentence could be shortened given his poor health.

The family's appeal options are nearly exhausted. They have asked the appeals court to reconsider the case and also plan to ask the Supreme Court to intervene, which it rarely does in such cases.

After Wednesday's hearing, the Rigases were described as comforting each other, with Timothy giving his frail-looking father a pat on the back.

Last month, the appeals court affirmed the pair's convictions on all but one count, including securities fraud and conspiracy. One count of bank fraud was dismissed, with the appeals court saying the men should be resentenced.

Judge Sand did not immediately set a date for the resentencing.