Skip to main content

Rigases Out on Bail

New York -- Hours after being arrested Wednesday morning on charges of
securities, mail and wire fraud, John, Michael and Timothy Rigas were arraigned
at U.S. District Court here, agreeing to a $10 million bail arrangement that
will set them free at least for the time being.

Looking frail in a blue blazer and white dress shirt, former Adelphia
chairman John Rigas sat before U.S. District Court Judge Gabriel Gorenstein,
flanked by his two sons dressed in similar attire. All three men were without
ties, belts or shoelaces on their shoes -- Tim Rigas wore loafers -- in
adherence with standard operating procedure at the court.

The Rigases were silent throughout the brief arraignment, where their
attorneys all agreed to a bail proposal that will be secured by cash, securities
and family real estate. According to the agreement, Michael and Tim will put up
$500,000 in cash or securities and John Rigas will put up $1 million in cash or
securities. In addition, bail will be secured by the Rigases' condominiums in
Beaver Creek, Colo., and Hilton Head, S.C. -- with estimated market values of
$2.4 million and $3.3 million, respectively -- as well as the family home in
Coudersport, Pa., and 5,000 acres of land there.

At the hearing, U.S. attorney Timothy Coleman said that while the magnitude
of the alleged fraud made the Rigases a significant flight risk, the bail
agreement lessens that risk of flight. The Rigases will have to surrender their
passports, but they are allowed to travel between New York, New Jersey and
Pennsylvania. No pretrial supervision of the defendants is necessary, the court

After the arraignment, lawyers for two of the three defendants expressed some
displeasure at how the Rigases were brought to the court. According to Peter
Fleming, John Rigas' attorney, and Jeremy Temkin, the lawyer for Tim Rigas, the
family had repeatedly tried to surrender voluntarily to the U.S. Attorney's

The three were arrested at about 6 a.m. at the New York apartment of Ellen
Rigas Venetis, daughter of John and sister of Mike and Tim Rigas.

'It's pretty tough to arrest a 78-year-old man at six o'clock in the morning
when he has volunteered to surrender,' Fleming said. 'John Rigas strikes me as
an extraordinarily decent man. He's never sold a share of Adelphia stock.
Therefore, he never profited from the sale of Adelphia stock. He's 78 years old,
he's had three bypass operations and he offered to surrender himself at any

Temkin also said his client had offered to surrender to law-enforcement
officials on several occasions, only to be rebuffed. 'There was no need for an
arrest,' he added.