Sunday, November 27, 1983


A labor racketeering indictment has been reinstated against a former Rhode Island legislator and three other men in a Miami case that also involves the reputed organized crime boss of New England, Raymond L.S. Patriarca.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court's ruling, which had dismissed the indictment against former Rhode Island Rep. Albert J. Le Pore, Joseph J. Vaccaro Jr. of Winchester, Mass., Arthur E. Coia of North Providence, R.I., and Coia's son, Arthur A. Coia.

Patriarca and the four were indicted in Miami in 1981 on one count of conspiring to use their influence over the Laborers International Union of North America to funnel union business to insurance and service companies the men controlled.

The indictment charged the five then "looted the insurance premiums through the use of kickbacks, payoffs, unearned salaries and fees, and improper personal expenses."

A federal magistrate ruled that Patriarca, who suffers from angina and other heart ailments, could not appear to answer the indictment. Because of his condition, Patriarca also has not been tried on a charge that he ordered a 1968 slaying.

The other four racketeering defendants won a ruling from a district judge that they could not be prosecuted because the five-year statute of limitations period had expired.

The 11th Circuit said the lower court, relying on an earlier case in the circuit involving the Drug Control Act, had ruled that the five-year period began with the last alleged overt illegal act contained in the indictment.

The appeals court said the Supreme Court later held that proof of an overt act was not necessary to prove conspiracy under the Drug Control Act. Therefore, the 11th Circuit ruled, proof of overt acts is not required by the racketeering law under which the defendants were charged, and "the conspiracy may be deemed to continue as long as its purposes have neither been abandoned nor accomplished."

"The government consistently alleged that the conspiracy continued well into the limitations period," the appeals court said in the opinion, dated Nov. 17.

If convicted, the men could be sentenced to 20 years in prison, fined $25,000 and stripped of union positions.

All content 1983 THE MIAMI HERALD

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