Mistrial Ends Michael Rigas-Adelphia Case

The fraud case against former Adelphia operations chief Michael Rigas ended in a mistrial Friday, with the jury deadlocked on 17 counts against him, the Associated Press.

Jurors were dismissed after telling a federal judge they couldn't reach a consensus on 15 counts of securities fraud and two counts of bank fraud. Rigas was acquitted of conspiracy and wire fraud charges a day earlier.

The decision comes a day after the jury returned convictions on the bankrupt cable operator's founder and former chief executive, John Rigas, and his son the former financial chief Timothy Rigas.

The fourth executive facing charges, former assistant treasurer Michael Mulcahey, was acquitted on all counts.

The trial, which followed a financial scandal that plunged Adelphia into bankruptcy, exposed a cautionary tale of what can go wrong at a family-controlled business that evolves into a publicly traded company.

Founded by patriarch John Rigas a half-century ago, Adelphia grew into one of the nation's largest operators of cable TV systems but ran into trouble as Adelphia's and the Rigas family's finances were intermingled, and neither people nor systems in place at Adelphia were able to keep them apart.

Adelphia filed for bankruptcy in 2002 after the company revealed that, under a previously disclosed co-borrowing arrangement between Adelphia and the Rigases, Adelphia was potentially on the hook for far greater borrowings by the Rigas family than Wall Street had realized.

Under new management, Adelphia is seeking to exit bankruptcy protection. The current management has sought to keep the company independent, but under pressure from creditors, management has said it would entertain a possible sale of the company.

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