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Ailing John Rigas seeks early release from prison

Written by The Associated Press | Dec 15, 2015 1:58 PM
john_rigas.jpg

John Rigas, founder and CEO of Adelphia Communications, leaves Manhattan federal court after being sentenced to 15 years on fraud and conspiracy charges, Monday June 20, 2005, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

(New York) -- The imprisoned 91-year-old founder of what was once one of the nation's largest cable television companies is seeking early release from prison for medical reasons. 

Adelphia Communications Corp. founder John Rigas' lawyers say relatives have been told to "deal with end-of-life decisions,'' including the possibility of hospice care. 

Federal Judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan directed prosecutors to respond by next Tuesday to the defense request. 

Rigas is scheduled to be released from prison in two years after serving a 12-year sentence in a looting and debt-hiding scandal. 

He founded Adelphia in tiny Coudersport in Potter County. It once was the nation's fifth-largest cable company.

He also once owned the NHL's Buffalo Sabres. 

At a 2005 sentencing, a judge said Rigas could be released early if he has less than three months to live.  

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