Principal, Karen J. Lapekas, Esq.
Karen J. Lapekas, Esq. grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She attended Michigan Technological University (coursework: Civil Engineering), Western Michigan University (Bachelor’s: Psychology, Minor: Mathematics), and Thomas M. Cooley Law School (Juris Doctor: Litigation), before earning a Master’s in Tax Law (LLM) from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.
As a Senior Attorney with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, she was the lead attorney for the IRS on over 170 cases in the United States Tax Court. These cases involved taxpayers who were entrepreneurs, couples, single parents, students, high-profile and high-income athletes and business persons, unemployed or retired individuals, estates, corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, trusts, and current and former partners or shareholders. Of the 170+ cases, several went to trial. She conducted trials before at least 6 different Tax Court judges. As a former Special Assistant United States Attorney, she also represented the United States’ interests in collection of tax liabilities in Bankruptcy Court. Through intense study of the Internal Revenue Code and years of working as an attorney for the IRS, she believes that many people are paying too much and the IRS often demands more money than people can afford to pay. She also knows that the Internal Revenue Code and the IRS offer relief to taxpayers in these situations and that countless people are needlessly burdened with the stress associated with tax audits and the IRS’ collection efforts.
This is why Karen founded Lapekas Law: to ensure that her clients do not give the IRS one dollar more than they owe or one dollar more than they can afford to pay.
Outside of the office, Karen is a “Big Sister” to “Little Sister” Anahay. They were matched through Big Brothers Big Sisters in 2012. Karen is also devoted to philanthropic activities for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Miami, is a member of their Miracle Society, and served as an officer on the Women’s Committee. She is currently the Chair of the South Florida Tax Litigation Association, the pro bono coordinator for the U.S. Tax Court Calendar Call Program for Miami, and volunteers as an attorney for children in foster care through Lawyers for Children America. She enjoys cycling, ballroom dancing, SCUBA, and long walks with “Romeo,” a Greyhound rescue.
Karen is admitted to practice law in the Michigan, New York, and Florida State Courts, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and the United States Tax Court. In matters before the IRS and the U.S. Tax Court, she can represent clients in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Associate, Ileana Loren Garcia, Esq.
Ileana L. Garcia, Esq., an Associate at Lapekas Law, P.A., represents clients before the IRS on all matters, including assisting them in requesting Offers in Compromise, installment agreements, and appealing IRS audit and collection actions.
Ileana was a Law Clerk at Lapekas Law before becoming an Associate. Previously, she was a Certified Legal Intern at the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office for the 11th Judicial Circuit, Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Peter R. Lopez, Law Clerk at Gersten and Muir, Research Assistant at St. Thomas University School of Law, and a Law Clerk for the Homeless Legal Advocacy Project for Legal Services of Greater Miami. Ileana was also an Intern at the U.S. Embassy in Kingston, Jamaica in the Consulate section and interned for the Department of State in the Civil Rights office.
Ileana is on the board of the Dominican American Bar Association, and is an active member of the South Florida Tax Litigation Association, the Hispanic National Bar Association, and the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. She has an upcoming publication in the HNBA Journal of Law & Policy.
Ileana earned her J.D. from St. Thomas University School of Law. She has a Masters and Bachelors degree from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, where she was a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
Ileana was born and raised in Miami. She enjoys working out, dancing, and spending time with her friends and her poodle. She takes advantage of any opportunity to travel abroad and submerge herself in other cultures. Motivating others and helping them achieve their dreams nourishes her soul. She is a member of New Mt. Olive Baptist Church.
Ileana is admitted to practice in the Florida State Courts.