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Hillside woman pleads guilty to filing more than 160 false tax returns

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A west suburban woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to preparing and filing more that 160 false tax returns from her Hillside office in the West suburbs.

Laurie Helfer, 57, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of willfully aiding and assisting in the preparation of a fraudulent tax return, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Helfer operated Laurie’s Freelance and Tax Preparation Services and later The Tax Lady Laurie Inc., according to prosecutors. Between 2007 and 2010, Helfer fied 162 false tax returns, costing the IRS nearly $55,000.

Prosecutors said Helfer lied on the returns to get her clients higher tax refunds.

Sentencing for Helfer, who faces a maximum sentence of six years in prison, has been set for Aug. 22.