By Ken Mingis
projo.com staff writer
Updated 1.31.00 / 4:31 p.m.
- As expected, Arthur A. Coia, the powerful national labor leader
from Rhode Island who became a key political fundraiser for President
Clinton, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to tax evasion.
The recently retired president
of the Laborers' International Union of North America had signed
a plea agreement last week in which he admitted defrauding Rhode
Island taxpayers of nearly $100,000.
Coia, 56, of 20 Payne Rd.,
Barrington, was sentenced to two years probation and ordered to
pay restitution, which he did today.
Prosecutors had charged that
Coia schemed with long-time friend Carmine Carcieri, owner of
Viking Cadillac in Middletown, to defraud the state of taxes owed
on the purchase of three Ferraris, ranging in price from $215,000
to $1 million.
Coia agreed to plead guilty
to a single felony fraud charge, and to pay a $10,000 fine and
about $100,000 in restitution for unpaid car taxes from 1991 to
The deal means Coia will do no prison time and allows him to keep his $250,000-plus annual lifetime pay as the Laborers' "general president emeritus" - a post created for him by union leaders following his retirement.