OLEAN — A long-time furniture business on West State Street closed down over the weekend.
Eleni Interiors Inc., owned by the Rigas family of Coudersport, Pa., for more than a quarter of a century, closed its doors for good on Jan. 5, according to a notice from the company.
“It has been our pleasure to operate the store as part of the Olean business community for the past several decades, hopefully in a way that has enhanced the city’s beauty and attractiveness for both residents and non-residents,” said the notice, attributed to the John and Doris Rigas family.
According to Cattaraugus County Real Property records, the property at 417 W. State St. is still in Doris Rigas' name more than four years after her death on Dec. 10, 2014.
“Doris supplied the creative fision for Eleni’s, and she strove to bring refinement and elegance to the store and its projects,” the release states. “Through her great commitment, energy, and attention to detail, Eleni’s became known as a prime place to go for high-quality merchandise and design services.”
The 15,320-square-foot structure was built in 1993. The business was first known as Nanette’s Interiors Inc., bearing the name of manager Nanette Kruz. The name was changed after the Kruze family disassociated from the business in mid-1995 to Eleni — the first name of owner John Rigas’ mother and daughter.
The business was pushed into the national spotlight as federal prosecutors probed cable television provider Adelphia Communications after more than $2 billion in off-sheet debt was reportedly linked to use by management.
According to the original Securities and Exchange Commission filing in May 2002, Adelphia paid $12.1 million in 2001 to buy office furniture from the store, owned by the Rigas family.
Rigas and his son, Timothy, were convicted of 18 counts of bank fraud, wire fraud and securities fraud. John Rigas was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison, later reduced to 12 years. At age 91, he was was granted a compassionate release from federal prison in February 2016. Timothy Rigas remains incarcerated in U.S. Penitentiary Canaan in Wayne County, Pa., according to the federal Bureau of Prisons database, with a release date of June 3, 2022.
(Contact reporter-editor Bob Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @OTHBob)