Adelphia founder John Rigas in handcuffs.
" ... A World War II veteran and the son of Greek immigrants, Rigas grew up in Wellsville, N.Y. After graduation from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ... "
RIGAS DIDN'T RUN AT 'HIGH NOON'
John Rigas compares himself to character in old western movie
During several media interviews and casual conversations, John Rigas has compared himself to actor Gary Cooper's character in the classic western movie, "High Noon."
In that 1952 film, Cooper portrays Will Kane, a retiring lawman who receives assurances from townspeople that they'll show up at noon to help him take on a gang of ruffians coming in on a train.
As the train rounds the bend into town, Marshal Kane discovers that he is all alone.
"As former Adelphia employees, and the auditors, and the legal advisors all abandoned us, I felt like I was Gary Cooper," Rigas said. "All of this time, people were saying, 'You can depend on us.' But when you really needed them to help you get the truth out, they were nowhere to be found."
A World War II veteran and the son of Greek immigrants, Rigas grew up in Wellsville, N.Y. After graduation from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rigas began his professional career at Emporium's thriving Sylvania electronics plant in the early 1950s.
In 1953, he began building a small community cable company in Coudersport that would become Adelphia Communications Corp., one of the nation's largest cable operators, with more than 5 million customers in 30 states.
Adelphia's payroll in Coudersport was close to 2,000 at the company's peak. In 2002, however, Adelphia spiraled into Chapter 11 bankruptcy after revelations of alleged accounting fraud caused its stock price to plummet.
Time Warner and Comcast bought Adelphia's assets for about $17.6 billion in 2006. After initially keeping hundreds of employees working in Coudersport, Time Warner shut down most of its local operations in February.
"... To better understand the Marting mess and the swindle Clayton Johnson has nearly completed with the complicity of the Portsmouth City Council, it helps to look at the so-called Adelphia building, at 807 Washington St., which Johnson made part of the package he told the city it must accept if it hopes to get back any part of the $2 million he illegally obtained from the city for the Marting building. ... The elder Rigas is reportedly down to his last $76 million. ... "
" ... Adelphia was once one of the largest cable television companies in the country before it was forced into bankruptcy in 2002. ... "
Judge Throws Out Adelphia Claims
WASHINGTON - Shareholders of Adelphia Communications Corp. who sued Wall Street banks in the wake of the cable company's collapse suffered a heavy blow on Friday when nearly all of their claims were rejected.
Judge Robert E. Gerber of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan dismissed all but one claim from the shareholders, who accused investment and commercial banks of fraud and violations of the federal anti-racketeering law.
Gerber threw out every claim brought under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. The judge wrote those charges, "which are plainly the most dramatic, in many respects push the envelope the most."
The committee representing Adelphia's equity security holders accused the banks of conspiring with the Rigas family, who ran the cable company before its collapse, to steal more than $3 billion from the company. Those banks included Bank of America, Citibank and Chase, now JPMorgan Chase & Co.
The shareholders' RICO claims fell short, in part because they failed to provide facts to support allegations that the banks exercised control over the Rigas family or Adelphia.
While the court's decision deals a near-fatal blow to the shareholders, a lawsuit from creditors of Adelphia alleging similar violations is ongoing. The shareholder committee, which didn't have standing to bring the lawsuit on its own, added its complaints to the creditors' lawsuit as an intervenor.
Adelphia was once one of the largest cable television companies in the country before it was forced into bankruptcy in 2002. Founder John Rigas and his son Timothy began serving prison terms on Monday after being convicted in 2004 of looting the company. Adelphia has since sold its cable assets to Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corp.
Gerber didn't dismiss a negligence claim against Salomon Smith Barney, now Smith Barney. The shareholders accused the firm of negligence when it issued opinions on the the fairness of Adelphia's share price when it sold equity.
In addition to the claim against Smith Barney, Gerber gave the plaintiffs a chance to come back to the court with new claims of fraud and fraudulent concealment.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Media Mafia: Cable Industry Corruption (Part Two): The Looting of Adelphia
Posted by Alex Constantine at 2:46 PM
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