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April 16, 2013

U.S. Uses Wartime Law to Push Cases Into Overtime

The Justice Department is testing a novel argument to extend the clock in bringing cases of financial wrongdoing: We’re at war.

Federal law typically gives prosecutors five years to bring charges after an alleged crime. But the Justice Department is under pressure from some in Congress to bring more cases, and handicapped by a shortage of resources it is turning to obscure laws dating to the World War II era and to the savings-and-loan crisis to buy itself more time.

Prosecutors in Manhattan sued banking giant Wells Fargo & Co. in December for allegedly defrauding the Federal Housing Administration out of hundreds of millions of dollars by writing bogus loans and then concealing them from government guarantors. The statute of limitations had run out on much of the alleged wrongdoing.”

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Read full Wall Street Journal article here

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