Adelphia Founders Convicted

John Rigas, the man who built the Adelphia cable empire from the seeds of a desegregated movie theater, and his son Timothy, were convicted on Thursday of conspiracy and fraud charges for looting the company and hornswoggling stockholders.

Both Rigases were convicted of all the charges against them, including 15 counts of securities fraud. Timothy's brother Michael Rigas was acquitted of conspiracy charges in a partial verdict for which debate was to resume on Friday, according to the Associated Press.

Michael Mulcahey, Adelphia's former assistant treasurer, was found not guilty of conspiracy and securities fraud.

The elder Rigas, who is 79-years-old, once regaled a packed hall of cable executives with the tale of his lowly beginnings as a Greek immigrant. Accepting an award for his contributions to ethnic diversity in the cable industry, Rigas told of how he started out with ramshackle movie theater in Coudersport, Pa. in the late 1940s. Rigas said he refused to segregate his theater, because as a Greek immigrant, he felt empathy the minorities being marginalized.

The jury determined that Rigas apparently had no such empathy with his own stockholders. John and Timothy Rigas each face 30 years in prison for bank fraud.

The Rigases and Mulcahey were charged with hiding $2.3 billion in debt, deceiving investors and stealing company cash for stuff like a fleet of cars, a luxury apartment in New York, a 3,600-acre backyard for the family in Coudersport, and $1 million-a-month allowance for the old man.