Mr. Scharf firmly believes that it is in the client’s best interest to resolve criminal tax controversies at the administrative level before charges are filed. Mr. Scharf concentrates his efforts in persuading the government not to bring charges. This approach not only saves the client the cost of a trial defense, but, more important, it spares the client the embarrassment of publicity. Most of Mr. Scharf’s best results have been obtained quickly and quietly in this manner.
If this cannot be achieved, the next best solution is to negotiate a plea agreement that minimizes or eliminates incarceration, avoids surprises under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, and reduces the harsh civil tax consequences that follow a criminal tax investigation. By the same token, civil tax litigation should be settled as early as possible and without a full-blown trial, if possible.
Mr. Scharf’s history of accomplishments in criminal and civil tax matters that have been litigated is well known to prosecutors and I.R.S. agents and demonstrates to them that he is a formidable adversary who is willing and able to go to trial. This facilitates the achievement of early plea agreements and civil settlements that are beneficial to the client.
However, in a substantial minority of cases, litigation is unavoidable. Often, this may occur when loss of a professional license or loss of employment in law enforcement would be a consequence of pleading guilty.
In such cases, Mr. Scharf is prepared to litigate, but only after a thorough assessment in which the cost of the litigation, the chances of success, and the consequences of failure are weighed. This assessment is fully explained to the client before a decision is made to fight proposed charges.
Mr. Scharf personally works on every aspect of every case from beginning to end. Mr. Scharf will not accept new cases that will diminish his ability to concentrate on his existing cases.
Mr. Scharf’s clients have included doctors, lawyers, accountants, business persons, a judge, an I.R.S. revenue agent, an I.R.S. special agent, and a New York City police officer.