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9th Circuit Reverses Time-Bar Denial

United States v. Nishiie Docket: 19-10405, Opinion Date: May 12, 2021. The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's order dismissing as time-barred defendant's seven non-conspiracy criminal counts. Plaintiff's convictions stemmed from his engagement in a scheme seeking payments in exchange for steering the award of Department of Defense contracts for infrastructure, engineering, and construction projects in Korea. The panel concluded that the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act's (WSLA) restrictive relative clause—"which is connected with or related to the prosecution of the war or directly connected with or related to the authorized use of the Armed Forces"—does not modify the first offense category "involving fraud or attempted fraud" or the second offense category involving "any real or personal property of the United States." 18 U.S.C. 3287. Therefore, the panel concluded that the running of any statute of limitations applicable to the WSLA's fraud and property offense categories—offense categories under which defendant was charged—is suspended, whether or not a nexus exists between these offenses and either war or "authorized use of the Armed Forces." Accordingly, the panel remanded for further proceedings.

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