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Bountiful tax preparer enters a guilty plea

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A Bountiful tax preparer pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false federal income tax return.

Lynne K. Mercer appeared in U.S. District Court to enter his plea as part of an agreement struck with prosecutors. Mercer, along with his son, Lance W. Mercer, was indicted last March on multiple counts of preparing false income tax returns between 1999 and 2002.

Lance W. Mercer also pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of a false federal income tax return last October.

Lynne K. Mercer operates the Mercer Consulting Group based in Bountiful and employs his son. The indictments contend the pair used illegal methods to reduce their clients' tax liabilities, including creating false deductions, claiming nondeductible expenses and deducting expenses more than once on the same tax return.

Sentencing for Lynn K. Mercer has been set for Feb. 5, 2007. When sentenced, he faces up to three years in prison and a fine of $250,000.