Hearing arguments today in
The issue is whether the five-year window for suits had expired by the time the
“This is a brand new assertion by the government,” Justice
A federal appeals court in
The case raises issues similar to those addressed by the
It affects only the power of agencies to seek fines, not their ability to seek “disgorgement” — that is, to force those who engage in fraud to give back the money.
Today’s hour-long session suggested the court’s ruling also will apply to what Justice
Breyer questioned whether the government should be able to extend its time to sue — and impose “what look like criminal penalties” — by saying that it didn’t learn about a fraud until recently.
Both men deny any wrongdoing.
Wall told Ginsburg that the
Wall contended that it would be anomalous for the so-called discovery rule to apply to private lawsuits and not the federal government.
He drew few allies on that point. Chief Justice
“The one plaintiff we should be particularly concerned about is the government,” Roberts said.
Gabelli and Alpert’s lawyer,
“There’s no allegation whatsoever that anything was hidden from the government,” Liman said.
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