June 28, 2007
Former Adelphia Execs to Report to Prison
The long prosecution of former Adelphia Communications executives John and Timothy Rigas appears to be coming to an end as the federal judge presiding over their case has given them an August 13 reporting date to begin their prison terms. John was CEO of Adelphia, and his son Timothy was CFO. They were convicted in 2004 on a number of fraud and conspiracy charges related to the accounting at the company, which the Rigas family controlled even though it was publicly traded. The sentencing did not take place until 2005, and the Second Circuit largely rejected their appeal in May 2007, upholding all the counts of conviction except one. John received a fifteen-year prison term and Timothy received twenty years, among the most severe sentences in corporate fraud cases. The two have remained free on bail pending appeal, but with the convictions affirmed and little prospect of a successful appeal to the Supreme Court -- none of the issues appear to be particularly noteworthy -- the judge determined that the time had come to report to the Bureau of Prisons and begin the sentences. John is now 82-years old and has been ill, so it is unlikely he will serve a significant portion of the sentence. With the case nearly concluded, it brings to a close the prosecution from one of the spectacular corporate bankruptcies in 2001-2002 that garnered so much attention. An AP story (here) discusses the judge's order. (ph)
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Over twelve years ago I learned a profound lesson: You reap what you sow, and I reaped time in prison. While many people feel that they can avoid consequences - one thing is for sure - consequences are inevitable. Every choice we make will ultimately yield a result. In my case, unethical choices resulted in a prison sentence. As I look back I now know that we have more control over our destiny than many think.
Our choices can, in fact, yield negative consequences (prison as an example) or positive results (professional motivational ethics speaker and business executive today). When our choices yield negative consequences such as being in prison, we often times feel unclean, unworthy, devalued, unlovable and a myriad of other emotions. When we immerse ourselves in the feelings about the consequences and let the feelings identify us, it is often difficult to recover from those consequences to living a positive life.
Posted by: Chuck Gallagher | Jun 30, 2007 10:16:47 PM