Associated Press






The Supreme Court yesterday refused to drop an indictment against four men accused, along with reputed New England Mafia kingpin Raymond Patriarca, of looting a labor union's insurance fund.

The justices, without comment, left intact a ruling that cleared the way for the four New England men to be prosecuted in Florida on the racketeering charges alleged in the 1981 indictments.

According to the indictment, the four men funneled the International Laborers Union of North America's insurance business into companies they had set up - and then charged the union's members high rates.

The alleged coconspirators also are charged with looting the insurance money pool through kickbacks, payoffs, unearned salaries and fees, and improper personal expenses.

The appeal acted on yesterday was filed on behalf of Arthur E. Coia, an international vice president of the Laborers Union when the alleged racketeering occurred; his son Arthur A. Coia, a Providence lawyer who served as business manager of the Rhode Island General Council of the Laborers Union; Albert LePore, a Providence lawyer and state representative; and Joseph Vaccaro Jr., a trustee of the New England Laborers Training Trust Fund and president of the National Group Insurance Agency in Boston.

The indictment said the conspiracy began in 1973 and lasted at least until late 1977.

On March 12, 1982, US District Judge James King in Miami, acting on a magistrate's recommendation, struck down the indictment on grounds that it was handed down too late.

But the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the indictment last Nov. 17. The four men then sought Supreme Court review.

Patriarca, a 76-year-old Johnston, R.I., resident who suffers from heart trouble and diabetes, had not yet appeared in Florida to answer the indictment. He previously has been judged too ill to travel.

On April 30, Patriarca was subjected to a Justice Department requested medical examination to determine whether he now is well enough to travel to Florida in connection with the pending criminal prosecution.


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