John Rigas Has Died, 5 Years After Finally Getting Out Of Prison
John Rigas has passed away according to a family member who owns the Thomas E. Fickinger Funeral Home in Coudersport, PA and WGRZ.
Rigas bought the Buffalo Sabres after making his money on founding Adelphia Communications in 1952. (Fast fact: John Rigas started the company with only 300 bucks!)
Though, after a massive scandal that went down, the NHL stripped him of his ownership of the Buffalo Sabres. Even though the NHL stipped Rigas of his ownership rights, on paper, he still owned the team. The NHL controlled the team until it was later sold. The fraud scandal involved himself and his son, where they were charged on looting and debt-hiding, which eventually led to the company going bankrupt. In 2004, John Rigas (who was 80 at the time) was convicted to 15 years in prison and his son was sentenced to 20 years. He was 82 years old when he finally entered jail in 2007.
The court granted compassionate release after serving 8 years due to a Rigas' terminal cancer diagnosis.
John Rigas bought the Buffalo Sabres during the 1997 - 1998 Sabers season from Northrop Knox.