James M. Land, an associate of former Old Court Savings & Loan president Jeffrey A. Levitt, pleaded guilty yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court to filing a false Maryland personal income tax return for 1983.

According to state prosecutors, Levitt used Land, 28, as a phony nominee owner of real estate ventures financed with loans from Old Court in order to conceal Levitt's involvement and circumvent the state's restrictions on insider loans.

Land reported these transactions in his 1983 tax return, knowing the information to be false, according to the plea agreement.

As part of the agreement, prosecutors said Land, who lives in Towson, Md., will cooperate with the state attorney general's office in its continuing investigation of Old Court operations that contributed to the state's savings and loan crisis. He faces a possible maximum sentence of 18 months in prison and $5,000 in fines.

Levitt, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for stealing $14.7 million from Old Court and several related entities and he was ordered to pay back that amount to the state for distribution to Old Court depositors. Levitt business associate Allen Feinberg also pleaded guilty to theft and is awaiting sentencing.