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James J. Kerasiotes, the controversial former head of the Big Dig construction project, was sentenced Thursdsay to six months in federal prison for filing false tax returns.

He pleaded guilty in September to underreporting his income by more than $100,000 over 2010 and 2011.

US District Court Judge William G. Young also ordered him to serve a year of supervised release, with the first four months in home confinement. He must also repay $31,448 in restitution and a $5,000 fine.

Kerasiotes was the chairman of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority who was forced to resign in 2000 because of more than $1.4 billion worth of hidden cost overruns on the Big Dig. He was represented by former Governor William F. Weld, who had been Kerasiotes’s boss.


In September, Kerasiotes said he was pleading guilty because “it is the appropriate response, the appropriate thing to do, the correct thing to do.”

Kerasiotes oversaw the Big Dig as state commissioner of public works from 1991 to 1992, secretary of transportation from 1992 to 1997, and Turnpike Authority chairman from 1996 until 2000.

The mammoth project took an unsightly elevated highway in Boston known as the Central Artery and placed it underground, in what is now known as the O’Neill Tunnel. It also included the construction of a third tunnel under Boston Harbor, the Ted Williams Tunnel.