Blog Posts

The Status of the SEC’s Crackdown on SPACs

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has started to crack down on Special Purpose Acquisition Company vehicles in earnest. This comes after several companies involved in mergers were accused of defrauding investors through all sorts of misconduct, including by not limited to misrepresentation, breach of…

Topic: Fraud, Securities Litigation

The Government’s Crackdown on Healthcare Fraud

If the government is to be believed, the United States healthcare sector is plagued with fraud. And both federal and state authorities are cracking down on it. Simple billing errors by doctors or nurses (even if inadvertent) or misused prescriptions by pharmacists or patients (even…

Topic: Fraud

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Gang Land News

Compassionate Release Motion Granted and Life Sentence Reduced After 29+ Years Behind Bars

A federal judge granted Eric Millian a compassionate release, calling him a rehabilitated “man of extraordinary character.”

Case Results

Protass Law PLLC Client Granted “Compassionate Release” After Serving 30 Years of a Federal Life Without Parole Sentence

Robert Panton was arrested in 1991 and convicted in 1994 for his role in running a “spot” that sold heroin for a criminal organization run by notorious New York narcotics boss George “Boy George” Rivera. For his crimes, Panton was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Because of the changes to the compassionate release program ushered in by the First Step Act, though, attorney Harlan Protass – after exhausting Panton’s BOP administrative remedies – filed a motion before the Honorable Loretta A. Preska of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking “compassionate release” and a reduced sentence pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(1)(A) based on the “extraordinary and compelling” circumstances that Panton presented. And, on August 4, 2020 Judge Preska granted that motion, reducing Panton’s life sentence to time-served after close to 30 years behind bars. More particularly, Judge Preska found that the following grounds justified Panton’s release from prison:

“Over some three decades in high and medium security facilities, Mr. Panton has 1) maintained a good disciplinary record, 2) taken advantage of numerous courses and other opportunities to enable a law-abiding life, 2) evidenced a desire to help the outside community during which he demonstrated incredible empathy and compassion in an encounter with a child sex abuse victim, 4) maintained an exceptional degree of contact with his children, and, 5) unfortunately, developed several serious health issues. Because all of Mr. Panton’s co-conspirators, except George Rivera, the leader of the drug organization, have been released or have release dates, releasing Mr. Panton would avoid a sentencing disparity. Mr. Panton also has a viable post-release plan. The combination of these factors constitutes “extraordinary and compelling circumstances” warranting release.”

Read more about Robert Panton’s compassionate release here.

NYC criminal defense attorney Harlan Protass is a knowledgeable litigator who is not afraid to take on compassionate release cases such as this. If you or someone you love has questions about reducing a federal sentence, contact Protass Law today at 212.45.0335 or use our online contact form to reach out.

The outcome of an individual case depends on a variety of factors unique to that case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.

Non-Criminal Disposition of Domestic Violence Charges

An executive at a Wall Street bank was alleged to have assaulted his girlfriend by pushing her into a closet – relatively straightforward charges that were complicated because he had been charged with assaulting the same girlfriend less than six months earlier and had violated the Order of Protection that was issued when he resolved those prior charges.

Prosecutors initially sought a misdemeanor plea because it was his second offense involving the same girlfriend. Wanting to avoid the collateral consequences of such a conviction, which could have derailed his lucrative career, that executive sought out New York criminal defense attorney Harlan Protass for help. At his client’s request, Attorney Protass put together a package of out-of-court remedial measures (private therapy for impulse control and counseling for alcohol abuse) that gave the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office comfort that his client was serious about making changes and assuring that no further incidents would occur, thereby paving the way for a non-criminal disposition of the new charges – that is, through a guilty plea to disorderly conduct, which is a violation, not a crime, under New York Law.

The outcome of an individual case depends on a variety of factors unique to that case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any similar or future case.