Lisa Virgen

  • Hosted by Lone Star Legal Aid
  • Sponsored by BP, Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease LLP
  • Service location Houston, Texas
  • Law school University of Houston Law Center
  • Issue area Consumer Rights
  • Fellowship class year 2016
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Advocated for underrepresented populations against notario and tax preparation fraud and increased access to tax legal assistance through educational outreach to refugees and immigrants.

As the country’s most diverse metropolitan area, Houston has a significant population of immigrants and refugees. Lone Star Legal Aid needs additional support in reaching out to immigrants and refugees who are unfamiliar with the U.S. tax system. Despite a person’s undocumented status, immigrants still have an obligation to report income to the IRS. The lack of knowledge of the tax system makes this population vulnerable to tax preparer and immigration fraud.

Fellowship Highlights

In the past two years, Lisa has:

  • Represented a notario fraud victim in a lawsuit against an unscrupulous notario and successfully recovered the money the victim lost.
  • Provided advice to over 100 low income taxpayers on properly filing tax returns with the IRS.
  • Recovered over $26,000 in IRS refunds and lawsuit settlements for her clients.
  • Reduced over $35,000 of IRS debt for her clients through advocacy in controversies with the IRS.
  • Developed resources for notario and tax preparer fraud victims to obtain legal representation.

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