A Long Beach man who once worked as a tax and estate planning lawyer pleaded guilty Monday to charges that he committed tax evasion by setting up shell companies to evade the payment of more than $1.5 million he owed to the Internal Revenue Service.

James Roy McDaniel, 66, who pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge S. James Otero to one count of tax evasion, is scheduled to be sentenced in Los Angeles federal court on Feb. 3. McDaniel could receive up to five years imprisonment, according to the IRS.

McDaniel was a licensed California attorney for more than two decades, until he pleaded guilty in late 2004 to one felony count of subscribing to a false income tax return, IRS officials said.

In 2005, McDaniel was sentenced to three years in federal prison for that crime, and he surrendered his license to practice law in California. In that case, McDaniel’s failure to report income resulted in a tax loss of $677,368 to the federal government, according to court documents.

McDaniel’s additional income was the result of his embezzlement of more than$1.6 million from two prominent families he represented as an attorney. McDaniel served time in state prison for the embezzlement, the IRS said.

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