Elmhurst resident Donna Guerin pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to conspiracy to defraud the United States and tax evasion, multiple news sources are reporting.
Between 1994 and 2004, Guerin, 52, who worked for the former Jenkens & Gilchrist law firm, set up tax shelters that produced more than $6 billion in phony tax losses so some of the "richest investors in the world" could reduce their tax obligations, according to an article in the Huffington Post.
Guerin already had been convicted in May 2011 after a three-month trial, but a judge overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial saying one of the jurors had corrupted the trial by lying, according to Businessweek. Guerin pleaded guilty while awaiting the new trial.
Convictions also were overturned for Paul Daugerdas of Wilmette, another Jenkens & Gilchrist partner, and Denis Field of Naples, Fla., former CEO at accounting firm BDO Seidman LLP. They have pleaded not guilty, and their date for retrial has not yet been set.
Alleged co-conspirator David Parse, who worked for Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) unit Alex Brown, was not granted a new trial. Craig Brubaker, a second former Alex Brown accountant, was found not guilty.
Jenkins & Gilchrist, a Dallas-based firm, was shuttered in 2007. During its heyday, 600 lawyers worked for the firm, according to Bloomberg. Jenkins and Gilchrist blamed its demise "on unnamed lawyers in its Chicago office," according to the article.
"The Chicago tax shelter practice seriously undermined the firm's long-standing reputation," the 2007 article quoted from a prepared statement released by the firm. "We deeply regret our involvement in this tax practice.''
Guerin pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of tax evasion. Her sentencing is set for Jan. 11.