CHICAGO (WBBM) — A Winnetka lawyer has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion — admitting he set up illegal tax shelters for clients.

47-year-old Erwin Mayer of Winnetka pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan and now faces up to five years in prison for conspiracy and five years for tax evasion.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Steve Miller Reports

The government says Mayer and others set up illegal tax shelters for clients — tax shelters that cost the government billions of dollars in uncollected taxes.

Mayer had worked for the now-defunct law firm of Jenkens and Gilchrist.

Mayer’s attorney, Thomas McNulty, tells Newsradio 780 that Mayer is cooperating with the government in its case against other defendants charged with conspiracy and tax evasion.

On Mayer’s guilty plea, McNulty said, “It is a sad day in a man’s life.”

Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 10.

Watch & Listen LIVE