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The Adelphia Corporation was a cable television company that became a poster child for corporate malfeasance.
The Adelphia Corporation was the fifth largest cable television operator in the United States when in June 2005 its founder and Chief Executive Officer, the 80 year-old John Rigas, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for fraud, looting the company and lying about its finances. His son, Timothy, the ex-finance chief, was sentenced to 20 years.
The elder Rigas' sentence was the stiffest for a CEO in a white-collar lawsuit since the collapse of the Enron Corporation in 2001. U.S. District Judge Leonard Sand, who presided over the trial in New York, said Rigas had "long ago" set Adelphia "on a track of lying, of cheating, of defrauding." The health advocacy group Action on Smoking and Health United Kingdom (ASH UK) cited Adelphia as one of the worse cases of corporate fraud, saying, "Not only are Enron, WorldCom, Adelphia, Tyco and the rest indicative of a fundamentally corrupt financial system, they are representative of a rotten system of corporate dominance." ASH cited British American Tobacco as on of its Ten Worst Corporations for 2002.
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