Rejection of the Antitrust Division's Position on the Running of the Statute of Limitations until the Last Payment

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The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice claims the statute of limitations for a criminal antitrust violation does not begin to run until the last payment is collected by a conspirator on a sale that was the subject of collusion. Recent decisions show this sweeps too broadly. Whether collaborative conduct extends into the limitations period requires greater attention.

Introduction -

In United States v. Grimm,3 the Second Circuit the squarely rejected the last payment received approach to the statute of limitations in prosecuting a conspiracy to fix interest rates paid to municipalities. Instead, reversing the convictions as barred by the applicable statutes of limitations, the court held that the serial payments, albeit advantageous to the conspirators, did not constitute overt acts in furtherance of the conspiracy.

Originally published in Antitrust in the Americas Conference, ABA Section of Antitrust Law and IBRAC - June 11, 2015.

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