By Stephen Franklin
Tribune Staff Writer
January 28, 2000
Former Laborers union president Arthur Coia
pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Boston to charges
of setting up a scheme to avoid paying taxes on expensive cars
that cost as much as $1 million.
The one-time organized labor powerbroker
is slated to pay a $10,000 fine, make restitution on about $100,000
in unpaid taxes, and serve a two-year period of probation, according
to the deal reached with prosecutors. He will be sentenced on
Coia, 56, also agreed never to hold a position
again with the 450,000-member Laborers' International Union of
North America and not to be linked with any union for five years.
Coia had faced allegations about corruption
within the union and his ties to organized crime figures. In December,
he announced his retirement from the union.
Last year a union-led investigation cleared
Coia of the corruption charges, but said he had wrongly benefited
by buying a costly automobile from a car dealer with business
ties to the union. It fined him $100,000.
In the federal case, Coia was charged with
buying several cars and using fraudulent invoices or other ruses
to avoid paying taxes on them to Barrington, R.I., where he lives,
and to Rhode Island.