Andreozzi Bluestein LLP Receives Award from Volunteer Lawyers Project for Pro Bono Work
The Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) for Erie County selected Andreozzi Bluestein LLP as recipient of the 2014 Law Firm Commitment Award. VLP presented the award at the “Champions for Justice Bash,” held at the Hotel Lafayette. The Bash was a joint fundraiser for VLP and the Legal Services for the Elderly, Disabled and Disadvantaged (LSED).
VLP is a not-for-profit corporation which provides free civil legal services to low income individuals and small not-for-profit groups in Erie County. The corporation involves volunteer attorneys by recruiting, training, coordinating and assisting attorneys who volunteer to represent VLP’s clients on a pro bono basis.
Here is what the VLP and LSED had to say about the firm’s commitment to their community and to helping those in need of legal aid:
“For tax years 2011 and 2012, over 1,000 Immigrants in Buffalo were victims of a massive fraud by Tax Preparation firm which has resulted in a Federal Indictment and guilty plea in Federal Court this summer. Many of the victims, who are now being audited, are left “on the hook” for what totals millions of dollars of wrongfully obtained refundable credits, much of which went to the disreputable tax preparer. The IRS has taken the unusual step of acknowledging that the individuals will not be assessed a “penalty” for the fraudulent credits claimed on their returns, because they did not speak or read English and were unwilling participants in fraudulent scheme. Unfortunately, the IRS position is that they must still pat back all of the improper refunds, with interest.”
“The law firm of Andreozzi Bluestein LLP offered to help and in a big way. Attorney Michael J. Tedesco, Esq., had already taken several Tax Cases, pro bono from VLP and indicated that the firm wanted to play a bigger role in helping their community. Randall P. Andreozzi, Esq., attended an Outreach Event at the Burmese Community Center, sponsored by VLP to assist victims of the fraud and to assist with interviews. Heather Schmidt and Justin Andreozzi, both recent Law School graduates [and new associate attorneys with the firm, headed the intake and interview effort and are now working hard in the firm’s representation of the victims.] In addition to having provided advice to all who attended our outreach event, the firm has taken on full pro bono representation of 11 clients before the IRS this calendar year. Justin and Heather are working under the supervision of the two attorneys, Michael and Randall. Justin has even been coming to our offices to meet with clients to review documentation and sign papers, where we have arranged to have interpreters since most of the clients do not speak English.”
“Clearly without the participation of Andreozzi Bluestein LLP, VLP would not have had sufficient resources to assist the amount of victims of this fraud that have come forward.”
Andreozzi Bluestein LLP, listed as a “2014 Best Places to Work” by Buffalo’s Business First, places its concentration on tax controversy and litigation. With offices in New York State, as well as the US Virgin Islands, the firm provides legal services locally, nationally, as well as internationally.
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