Adelphia's John Rigas Sentenced to 15 Years, Son Gets 20

The Judge in the Adelphia Cable fraud case handed 80 year old company founder John Rigas an effective life sentence today - 15 years. The prosecution had asked for 215 years. His son is being sentenced now.

How's this for mercy?

U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Sand said at Monday's hearing that John Rigas' sentence could be altered after two years, but only if the Bureau of Prisons determines Rigas' life expectancy to be less than 3 months.

Update: Rigas suffers from bladder cancer. I have to say, I'm glad he didn't cower at his sentencing. He knew what was coming and said,

``If I did anything wrong, I apologize,'' said Rigas, speaking in a faint voice before the judge passed sentence. ``It's in your hands, and in God's hands. In my heart and conscience, I'll go to my grave really and truly believing that I did nothing but to improve conditions for my employees.''

Rigas's son Timothy Rigas has just been sentenced to 20 years.
America. Prison Nation.

Here's more:

Jeff Ifrah, co-author of Federal Sentencing for Business Crimes, said he expects John Rigas to die in jail. ``Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the Bureau of Prisons has been extremely inflexible with their compassionate release policy,'' said Ifrah, like Behre, a litigator at Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker in Washington.

While Sand said prison officials may release Rigas after two years if his death appears imminent, ``I can tell you that they never do it,'' Ifrah said.

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    so much for lenient white collar sentences-6 months plus fines and costs.

    Doesn't seem like an excessive sentence to me. He did loot the company of millions, quite deliberately. And he's clearly old enough to know better.

    It's good to see white collar criminals finally facing the same music that everyone else faces for committing crimes. I'm sure we'll see way fewer cases of widespread Enron style fraud in the future if these corporate crooks know there is real jail time waiting for them.

    Re: Adelphia's John Rigas Sentenced to 15 Years, S (none / 0) (#4)
    by DawesFred60 on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:16 PM EST
    You got to love this case, the guy is 80 and gtes 15 years, wasn't he the head guy for 50 years? his son got prison time, and how many in the bush white house known about this guy? but its kind of pointless to put some 80 year old in prison, he will not be celled with the normal prison population but be sent to a hospital prison and will be out within 6 months, at a cost to you of about $20,000 per month, and that is good, what would be the point of working this guy in some prison factory? let this guy go keep his son in prison for 30 years, that would be real punishment.

    It's good to see white collar criminals finally facing the same music that everyone else faces for committing crimes.
    Well, maybe. If they are going to hand out grossly excessive sentences, I guess that, on balance, it's a good thing that they're giving them to billionaires as well as to ordinary mortals. But, better they didn't do it at all.

    Alright! Set Charles Manson free and lock up these 'criminals' for life. When it comes to money, what are you going to do? I have known people that have defalcated funds from suckered well-heeled people. You know what happens? They take their lumps. I wish I had my investment refunded that was carted away by a Chinese businessman that managed to walk away with over 300 million dollars of investors' money and is now living a life of luxury in China. Set the poor man free and forget about it. Let's learn to forgive and forget again, otherwise we're toast. "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" Pretty simple thing to do.

    Re: Adelphia's John Rigas Sentenced to 15 Years, S (none / 0) (#7)
    by Sailor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:17 PM EST
    No one ever suggested letting manson free. That's not even a bad troll tactic, it's just stupid. Now that we are done with that; we give death to 7/11 stick-up men, we give months to corporate criminals who ruined the lives of tens of thousands. Who deserves to die more?

    Re: Adelphia's John Rigas Sentenced to 15 Years, S (none / 0) (#8)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:17 PM EST
    It's sad to see an old man in prison, but let's put it in context. They stole $100M. They stole 1,000 years of salary at a high income bracket, or 9,335 years at minimum wage and 40 hours per week. Minimum wage will probably raise within the next 9,335 years, but you get my point. They stole 238,095 days of hospital care. They stole 3,476 college educations. So John Rigas was sentenced to 0.0043 years per college education stolen. And, unless they paid tax on their stolen money, they gypped everybody in the U.S. of about $35M in taxes. It'll be sad to see an old man die in prison, but probably not as sad as the consequences of his crimes.

    The reason these sentences seem both right and wrong at the same time is that the problem is not so much with these particular criminals as it is with the whole corporate system. Had the board of directors approved those same benefits, it would suddenly have been legit?

    Re: Adelphia's John Rigas Sentenced to 15 Years, S (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:17 PM EST
    I'll save my sympathy for the guy who steals out of desperation, not these greedy bastards stealing to buy another yacht. Theft by pen, theft by gun...no difference to me. They should all be punished according to the dollar amount stolen. White collar criminals still aren't facing the same music. Kozlowski left his trial, after being found guilty, on bail walking free. Think "Joe the stick up man" gets the same courtesy? Please.

    I'm not particularly bothered by the sentence. It amazes me to see the mob line up demanding stiff sentences when the comments here are full of compassion for average murderers, rapists and child molestors.

    Re: Adelphia's John Rigas Sentenced to 15 Years, S (none / 0) (#12)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 01:00:17 PM EST
    He has cancer. Many do. Boo hoo. Not my problem. Sound familiar? Good.