Donna Guerin, a former partner in the defunct law firm Jenkens & Gilchrist, was sentenced to eight years in prison and ordered to pay $190 million for her role in what the U.S. called the largest criminal tax fraud in history.
Guerin, 52, pleaded guilty in September 2012 just as she was set to be retried with three other defendants for running a 10-year scheme that created $7 billion in fraudulent tax deductions, more than $1.5 billion in phony losses and $92 million in actual losses to the U.S. Treasury.
U.S. District Judge William Pauley in New York, who presided over the case, said that as both a lawyer and a certified public accountant, Guerin had violated her oaths to uphold the law by helping her clients avoid paying their taxes through shelters.
“It’s the modern-day equivalent of Hawthorne’s story of Midas,” Pauley said. “Everything she touched turned to gold with tragic consequences. Her fall has been Faustian.” Guerin was “the embodiment of the American dream, but then her lust for money turned her dream into a nightmare,” he said.