HOOPER, Weber County — A West Point woman pleaded guilty Wednesday to helping as many as 15 people file fraudulent tax returns.

Gina D. Salayandia, 45, pleaded guilty in federal court to helping people file false federal tax returns, using exemptions and tax credits they were not eligible for, according to a statement Friday by the U.S. Department of Justice. The returns were filed between 2006 and 2011.

Salayandia has been a self-employed tax return preparer since at least 1999. Her business is based in Hooper.

Salayandia waived indictment and was charged in April with one count of aiding and assisting in the filing of false tax returns.

Salayandia admitted in court to telling a tax client that her tax situation would improve if she claimed additional dependents on her tax return, knowing that those dependents were ineligible because they aren't legal U.S. citizens, nationals or residents, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The total tax loss in the scheme was set at $211,600, as part of Salayandia's plea deal.

Salayandia will be sentenced Sept. 4. She faces a possible maximum penalty of three years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and a one-year term of supervised release.

— McKenzie Romero