NOTE: THE WARTIME SUSPENSION OF LIMITATIONS ACT, THE WARTIME ENFORCEMENT OF FRAUD ACT, AND THE WAR ON TERROR Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2009 Notre Dame Law Review
Notre Dame Law Review

NOTE: THE WARTIME SUSPENSION OF LIMITATIONS ACT, THE WARTIME ENFORCEMENT OF FRAUD ACT, AND THE WAR ON TERROR

November, 2009

NOTRE DAME LAW REVIEW

85 Notre Dame L. Rev. 313

Author

Erin M. Brown*

Excerpt

Introduction

In 1945, while the world was sifting through the rubble of World War II, Harold Lurie and Samuel Dworett were attempting to fraudulently profit from the remnants of the American war machine. In order to redistribute what was estimated at the time to be $75 billion in surplus stock, 1 veterans were granted a priority right to buy property, machinery, and other surplus items. 2 In fact, by the distribution's end, former soldiers purchased over $ 500 million worth of the remaining tools and materials - twenty-two percent of the entire war surplus. 3

Lurie and Dworett, hoping to exploit this priority access to the goods, attempted to fraudulently obtain veterans' preferences for themselves and for their business, Rel Sales Company, Inc. 4 They "advised and caused" honorably discharged veterans to apply for materials on the company's behalf, including counseling the veterans to falsify statements on their applications. 5 The two were eventually indicted in 1952, but Lurie and Dworett filed motions to dismiss on the grounds that the charges were barred by the three-year statute of limitations on fraud. 6

Despite the apparent staleness of the indictments, the government was able to prevail on the prosecution by utilizing the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act 7 (WSLA). The Act, seemingly drafted for this very situation, suspended the commencement of the statute of limitations on fraud until three years after the termination of hostilities. 8 Accepting the government's application of WSLA, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh ...
 
 
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