Adelphia founder, Rigas, and son denied new trial

NEW YORK Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:11pm EST

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NEW YORK Nov 20 (Reuters) - A U.S. court denied a request on Tuesday by Adelphia Communications Corp founder John Rigas and his son Timothy for a new trial.

U.S. District Judge Leonard Sand in Manhattan rejected the argument asking for a new trial on the grounds that "the government's central witness gave perjured testimony, without which the Rigases likely would not have been convicted."

"We conclude that in the context of the entire trial and considering the challenged testimony in its entirety ... the jury's verdict would not have been different had it considered the allegedly conflicting testimony," Sand wrote in an 11-page opinion.

The father and son were found guilty in July 2004 of concealing loans and stealing millions from the cable operator. John Rigas was sentenced in June 2005 to 15 years in prison, while Timothy Rigas, the company's former finance chief, was sentenced to 20 years.

They began serving their prison terms earlier this year.

Their lawyer could not be reached immediately for comment. Last month, they asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear an appeal of their fraud convictions.

The Adelphia case, along with Enron and WorldCom, was one of the biggest corporate fraud prosecutions in recent years. The father and son were accused of looting the company to pay for personal land deals and vacation homes.

Adelphia filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2002. The company said in February its bankruptcy exit plan had taken effect and its cable system assets have been sold to Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) and Time Warner Inc (TWX.N). (Reporting by Paritosh Bansal; editing by Andre Grenon)

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