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Delay granted in Adelphia case
Deadline for possible indictments against the Rigas family has been extended for another 30 days.
August 23, 2002: 6:23 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - A federal magistrate judge on Friday agreed to extend the deadline, originally set for Friday, for possible indictments against members of the family that founded the cable television system operator Adelphia Communications.

The routine extension was requested by attorneys for John J. Rigas, 77, and his sons, Timothy, 46, and Michael, 48, federal prosecutors said in court papers. All three remain free on $10 million bail.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Coleman said in court papers that the government agreed to the continuance before seeking a grand jury indictment that would pave the way for a trial. The defendants are currently charged in a criminal complaint filed by prosecutors.

Rigas and his sons -- who gave up executive posts and board seats at the Coudersport, Pa.-based company a month before it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June -- were accused in a federal complaint filed in July of stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the nation's sixth-largest cable TV company.

The complaint accused the family of using $252 million in company money to pay margin calls, or demands for cash payments on loans for which they had put up Adelphia stock as collateral. The fraud caused losses to stockholders amounting to more than $60 billion, the complaint said.

Prosecutors are also considering criminal fraud charges against the company, which has sued the entire Rigas family, after the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil complaint last month.  Top of page

-- from staff and wire reports

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