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Adelphia Fraud Funds Give More Than $728 Million to Victims

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April 30 (Bloomberg) -- More than $728 million forfeited in connection with the criminal prosecutions of Adelphia Communications Corp. founder John Rigas, and his son Timothy, is being paid to victims, prosecutors said.

It is the largest single distribution of forfeited assets to victims in the Department of Justice’s history, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said today in a statement.

Adelphia, once the fifth-biggest U.S. cable company, and the Rigases agreed in 2005 to pay $715 million to settle fraud allegations. The forfeiture agreement with the Rigases and Adelphia was intended to divest them of their fraud proceeds and to compensate victims, the U.S. said. The payments took more than five years to be made.

John Rigas and his son were first charged by the office in 2002 and later found guilty of conspiracy, securities fraud and bank fraud. Both are in the Allenwood Federal Correctional Institution, a low-security facility located in White Deer, Pennsylvania.

Adelphia, which filed bankruptcy in 2002, sold its assets to Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corp. for $17.6 billion in 2006.

In 2007, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office said that $530 million in cash and Time Warner Cable Inc. stock had been received, and the rest was expected to be paid.

The criminal case is U.S. v. Rigas, 02-CR-1236, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Patricia Hurtado in New York at pathurtado@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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