John Rigas biography
Business executive and convict. Born John J. Rigas on November 14, 1924 in Wellsville, New York. One of four children born to Greek immigrants, John Rigas served in the Army during World War II and returned to New York to study engineering.
Rigas?? first business venture was buying a local movie theater in 1951. After his family purchased the local TV cable franchise, Rigas began accruing suburban cable franchises, eventually naming the umbrella company Adelphia Corporation. The company became one of the largest cable providers in the United States, with systems spanning 30 states and serving 5.6 million customers. Adelphia also added high-speed Internet and long-distance telephone service to its offerings.
In May 2002, John Rigas was forced to resign as CEO of Adelphia after being indicted for bank, wire and securities fraud. Following the indictment, Adelphia was forced to file for bankruptcy. Rigas?? sons, Timothy J. Rigas and Michael J. Rigas, his son-in-law, Peter Venetis, and Michael Mulcahey were also charged.
The accused were charged with concealing $2.3 billion in liabilities from corporate investors and stealing from the corporation to the tune of $3.1 billion. In 2004, Rigas was convicted and in 2005 he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. The conviction is currently under appeal.