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The story of the Adelphia Scandal begins in 1952 with purchase of a cable network company by John Rigas. By the year 1972, the purchased cable network had evolved into Adelphia Communications Corporation. By the late 1990s, Adelphia had acquired Century Communications and eventually became the sixth largest cable company, servicing over 5 million subscribers. Adelphia was a family owned and operated business. Rigas family members were the majority of Adelphia’s board members and controlled a majority of the organizations voting stock. John Rigas held the position of Founder and Chairman, his three sons held key management positions such as, Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice Presidents. Like several other businesses owned and managed by family members, Adelphia feel victim to poor ethical decision-making, managerial deception, and social irresponsibility. John Rigas was well known for his extremely lavish lifestyle. The Rigas family indulged in things such as several luxury properties, private jets, leisure construction projects, and even majority ownership of a professional league hockey team. The extravagant life style enjoyed by the Rigas family was primarily funded by Adelphia Communication Corporation. Unknown to stockholders and nonfamily related board members, Adelphia had financed over $2 billion in loans to the Rigas family. The Rigas family had started several private business ventures using Adelphia as a partnership , which resulted in the Rigas family gaining millions in personal assets without any personal cost. The Rigas family also maintained two separate sets of financial records. One set of financial records was intentionally manipulated in order to deceive stakeholders, conceal accumulated debt, and inflate the value of Adelphia’s stock. The other collection of financial records, which was kept by the Rigas family, contained accurate financial information all the hidden debt acquired . In addition to deceptive financial, bookkeeping , the Rigas family also made several personal purchases on Adelphia’s line of credit and coalesced other family financial affairs with Adelphia’s accounts. The poor judgment and unethical decision making on behalf of the Rigas family ultimately yielded some very negative consequences. Due to failure to file the SEC form 10-K in the year 2001, Adelphia stock was delisted by NASDAQ, and suffered a 90% price declined. By March of 2002, Adelphia had publicly acknowledged billions of dollars in liabilities that were excluded from balance sheets. In June of 2002, Adelphia ended up filling for chapter 11 bankruptcy. By July of 2002 to the SEC, begin to press charges against the Rigas family for their actions with Adelphia. SEC investigations revealed that the Rigas family failed to report over $3 billion in liabilities that were connected to Adelphia. Approximately two years later John Rigas was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for bank, wire, and securities fraud. Adelphia Communications was court ordered to create a more than $700 million fund in order to compensate the many victims of this extreme case of corporate fraud. Today the Adelphia Scandal is known as one of the most extensive and intricate cases of corporate fraud to take place with a publicly traded company.

The behavior practice by Adelphia’s management displayed a complete discord of ethical business practices and a serious disregard for social responsibility. The misappropriation of company funds and assets led the Adelphia to bankruptcy. The intentional deceptive entries of on company ultimately resulted in a financial lost for Adelphia stockholder and compromised the integrity of the United States stock exchange markets. The Adelphia Scandal provides a perfect example of how flawed and unethical business practices can result in catastrophic events.

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