Former Attorney Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy and Tax Evasion Charges

October 21, 2010 Updated: October 21, 2010

Erwin Mayer, a former attorney of the Jenkins & Gilchrist law firm, pleaded guilty in Manhattan Federal Court on Tuesday to the charges of tax evasion and conspiracy. Mayer participated in creating fraudulent tax shelters, which enabled well-off clients to claim billions of dollars in tax losses.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Today’s guilty plea lays bare yet again the massive tax fraud perpetrated by attorneys at Jenkins & Gilchrist and their co-conspirators at accounting firms and financial institutions. These professionals, who were supposed to be the gatekeepers preventing fraud, instead helped their well-heeled clients avoid their tax obligations through deceit and trickery.”

Mayer, 47, of Winnetka, Ill., faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on the conspiracy charge and another maximum sentence of five years in prison on the tax evasion charge. As part of his plea agreement, Mayer agreed to forfeit his two residences and various bank and investment accounts, which are worth in excess of $10 million.