LABORERS' INTERNATIONAL EX-PRESIDENT SENTENCED
BY DIANE LEWIS, GLOBE STAFF
A US District Court judge yesterday sentenced Arthur A. Coia, former president of the Laborers' International Union of North America, to two years' probation and ordered him to pay a $10,000 fine after the ex-union chief pleaded guilty to mail fraud.
Coia, who appeared in court a week after negotiating a plea bargain with the US attorney's office, paid the fine as well as restitution of $99,646 to the state of Rhode Island.
The 56-year-old union boss, a former adviser to President Clinton, was charged last week with illegally defrauding the state of Rhode Island and his hometown of Barrington of thousands of dollars of taxes.
Federal officials said Coia was involved in a scheme that him evade taxes on several luxury Ferraris he bought over a six-year period.
The cars were worth $215,000 to $1 million.
The government alleged that, from 1991 to 1997, Coia illegally registered the vehicles to the firm's address in Middletown to avoid paying taxes. Rhode Island imposes a 7 percent tax on the purchase of all automobiles.