Under federal law, most charges must be filed within five years of the conduct. The UBS defendants asked the United States District Court in Manhattan to dismiss some counts on those grounds. A law adopted in 1990 during the savings and loan crisis, however, expanded the statute of limitations to 10 years for banking crimes and any violation of the wire fraud statute that affects a financial institution.

An opinion by Judge Kimba M. Wood, who presided over the case, took a broad view of what affects a financial institution. As a result, she concluded that the longer limitations period applied to the UBS case.

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