Updated from 4:12 p.m.
A federal judge sentenced
founder John Rigas to 15 years in jail for looting the cable company and defrauding its investors.
The 80-year-old patriarch of the family that ran bankrupt Adelphia was found guilty last summer, along with his son Tim, Adelphia's former CFO. Tim Rigas was sentenced to 20 years in jail. Both men had faced 30 years in prison, according to federal guidelines, though prosecutors had asked U.S. District Judge Leonard Sand to impose a 215-year prison sentence.
In April, federal authorities reached a $715 million settlement with the bankrupt cable company that also required the members of the founding family, led by John Rigas, to cough up 95% of their assets. The disgorgement is estimated to be worth $1.5 billion and is intended to help set up a compensation fund for defrauded investors.
Adelphia collapsed into bankruptcy three years ago amid charges that the Rigases lied about the company's financial health while pilfering money and assets from the business. Federal officials said at the time of Adelphia's collapse that the Rigases committed one of the "most extensive financial frauds ever to take place at a public company."
agreed in April to split up the remains of the company in an $18 billion deal.
The sentences come just three days after a New York state jury found former
CEO Dennis Kozlowski and former CFO Mark Swartz guilty of looting the conglomerate of hundreds of millions of dollars.
The current round of convictions and sentencing comes after a particularly corrupt era of business practices during the late '90s and the early part of this decade. In March, the government won a high-profile corporate corruption conviction of ex-
chief Bernie Ebbers, who faces sentencing next month.
And the jury in the fraud trial of ex-
chief Richard Scrushy is currently in its 17th day of deliberations.