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Cable Operators

Prosecutor: Adelphia Was Defendants’ ‘ATM’

6/16/2004 10:24 AM Eastern

Prosecutor Christopher Clark said during closing arguments at the Adelphia Communications Corp. fraud trial Wednesday that the four defendants used the MSO “like their own ATM machine,” AP reported.

Former Adelphia chairman John Rigas, his sons -- former chief financial officer Timothy Rigas and former executive vice president of operations Michael Rigas -- and former director of internal reporting Michael Mulcahey are on trial for 24 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud and securities fraud. All four men have pleaded not guilty.

Former VP of finance Jim Brown pleaded guilty to conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud in November 2002.

Clark cited examples of how the funds were spent, including 17 cars, a golf course and $6,000 to have two Christmas trees flown to New York, AP reported.

He added that the defendants used Adelphia as their "personal piggy bank" and "personal ATM," while painting a picture of a healthy, sound company to investors.

"There was only one problem with the picture they showed to investors: It was all a lie. In fact, it was a huge web of lies," Clark said.

September