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John Rigas Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison, Son Receives 20

John Rigas and his sons

By Associated Press

Buffalo, NY – Adelphia Communications Corp. founder John Rigas was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison for his role in the looting and debt-hiding scandal that bankrupted the cable company.

U.S. District Judge Leonard Sand said he would have imposed a much harsher sentence but for Rigas' age and poor health.

Earlier, Rigas, 80, waved to a crush of cameras as he and his son Timothy, the company's former chief financial officer, arrived at the courthouse in Lower Manhattan.

Timothy Rigas was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

The pair had faced up to 30 years in prison each on their bank fraud convictions alone. They were also convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy.

Federal sentencing guidelines would make the sentence far less than 30 years, but the Supreme Court also ruled earlier this year that federal judges should consider the guidelines as advisory, not mandatory.