NY State passes bill to extend statute of limitations to investigate financial crimes

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill that is designed to increase New York’s capacity to prosecute financial fraud relating to stocks, bonds, and other securities.

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Specifically, the bill, (S.6536/A.8318), restores the six-year statute of limitations under the Martin Act, allowing New York to protect investors and hold companies accountable for fraudulent activity.

“At a time when the Trump administration is hell-bent on rolling back consumer financial protections, New York remains dedicated to preventing and prosecuting fraudulent financial activity,” Cuomo said. “By restoring the six-year statute of limitations under the Martin Act, we are enhancing one of the state’s most powerful tools to prosecute financial fraud so we can hold more bad actors accountable, protect investors and achieve a fairer New York for all.”

Previously, the Martin Act mandated a six-year statute of limitations, but the Court of Appeals overturned this precedent in a ruling, reducing the statute of limitations to only three years. By restoring the statute of limitations to six years, the bill gives the Office of the Attorney General to investigate cases of fraud.

“If Main Street has to play by a set of rules, then so must Wall Street. This law strengthens two of our most critical tools in holding corporate greed accountable and delivering justice for victims of financial fraud. As the federal government continues to abdicate its role of protecting investors and consumers, this law is particularly important. New York remains committed to finding and prosecuting the bad actors that rob victims and destabilize markets,” Attorney General Letitia James said.

The bill was introduced in the State Senate by N.Y. Sen Michael Gianaris and in the State Assembly by Rep. Robert Carrol.

“The Martin Act is one of the most powerful tools in the state’s toolbox to prosecute financial fraud and protect consumers and investors. This six-year timeline brings New York in line with most other state’s and will help ensure that Wall Street’s bad actors will be brought to justice by giving the Attorney General and others the necessary time to investigate these complex crimes,” Carrol said.

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