Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Frediani: War Suspension Act suspends statute of limitations
In U.S. v. Frediani, No. 14-11998 (June 22, 2015), the Court rejected the argument that the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act did not apply to suspend the five-year statute of limitations for charges of conspiracy to commit aircraft parts fraud. The Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act suspends the five-year statute of limitations for fraud against the United States until 5 years after the termination of hostilities, as proclaimed by a Presidential Proclamation, with notice to Congress, or by a concurrent resolution of Congress. No such proclamation had been made with regard to the conflict in Iraq (or Afghanistan) and Frediani argued that “indefinite tolling” would result because the United States will forever be engaged in small conflicts involving terror. The Court rejected this consideration as “irrelevant,” because the statute is “clear.” The Court also rejected the argument that the district court abused its discretion when it allowed the government to introduce, under Fed. R. Evid. 404(b), evidence of six additional fraudulent contracts that were not charged in the indictment. The Court found that the necessity to prove intent became more important when Frediani implied that he had only made a mistake.