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Former Adelphia VP Pleads Guilty To Fraud Charges

Nov 14, 2002 | CNN

The former vice president of finance for Adelphia Communications pleaded guilty to wire fraud and other charges in federal court Thursday.

James Brown, 40, pleaded guilty to counts one, two and 23 of the indictment against him.

Count one included conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud, making false statements to the SEC, bank fraud and keeping false books and records . The count carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and fine of up to $250,000.

Count two charged securities fraud, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.

Count 23 was for bank fraud, with a sentence of up to 30 years in prison plus a fine of up to $250,000.

Brown is the first defendant to plead guilty in the case that accused the Rigas family of stealing money from Adelphia.

Brown told U.S. District Judge Leonard Sand that he participated in a conspiracy that made "false statements and misrepresented Adelphia's financial statements, level of growth and the number of cable subscribers."

Also, he said, "I help manipulate and overstate earnings."

He said some of the false statements that he and others made in a meeting with Moody's investment service on January 18 were "intended to mislead banks."

In an amended statement he said the others he was talking as participating in the conspiracy included Adelphia founder John Rigas, his sons, Timothy and Michael Rigas, and Michael Mulchey, former director of internal reporting for Adelphia.

The bank fraud count to which he plead guilty involved a $2.25 billion dollar loan arrangement. In the meeting with Moody's, Brown said he and others falsely stated that Adelphia was in compliance with the loan agreement.

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