John, Timothy Rigas Plead Not Guilty

Adelphia Communications Corp. founder John Rigas and his son, former chief financial officer Timothy Rigas, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal tax-evasion charges, AP reported.

The two former MSO executives were permitted to remain free on their own recognizance after appearing before U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III, according to AP.

Jones also granted a defense request to postpone the trial from December to September due to the complexity of the issues involved, and the next court proceeding will be a status conference in January, AP reported.

According to the indictment -- filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in Williamsport, Pa. -- the Rigases created a complex network of family-owned partnerships to use $1.9 billion in Adelphia funds to buy cable systems and Adelphia stocks and bonds and for their personal use.

The Rigases each were indicted on one count of conspiracy to defraud and six counts of tax evasion.

The indictment stated that from 1998-2000, John Rigas failed to report $143 million in income and Timothy Rigas failed to report $239 million. The indictment also claimed that both Rigases also helped family members Michael Rigas, James Rigas and Ellen Rigas to avoid paying $179 million in taxes during the same period. Michael, James and Ellen Rigas were not indicted.