Supreme Court in Gabelli: Clock Starts Ticking When Fraud Occurs, Not When It's Discovered

February 27, 2013  |  The Insider: White Collar Defense and Securities Enforcement

The law requires the SEC to bring enforcement actions seeking penalties against individuals who violate the securities laws within five years. The Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling today that rejects the SEC’s argument that the five year clock begins to tick when they discover any alleged wrongdoing rather than the date on which the wrongdoing was committed. The author previously has suggested that the application of the SEC’s proposed "fraud discovery rule" by a government agency charged with investigation and enforcement would be counter-productive and effectively would eliminate the five year statute of limitations. To put this into context, [...]

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