The statute currently provides in relevant part:
When the United States is at war or Congress has enacted a specific authorization for the use of the Armed Forces, as described in section 5(b) of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1544 (b)), the running of any statute of limitations applicable to any offenseThe question I asked earlier is whether the portion earlier version of the WSLA which contained subsection (1) applied to any fraud against the U.S., particularly tax fraud. I did not have any answer to the question.
(1) involving fraud or attempted fraud against the United States or any agency thereof in any manner, whether by conspiracy or not, or
(2) committed in connection with the acquisition, care, handling, custody, control or disposition of any real or personal property of the United States, or
(3) committed in connection with the negotiation, procurement, award, performance, payment for, interim financing, cancelation, or other termination or settlement, of any contract, subcontract, or purchase order 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, or with any disposition of termination inventory by any war contractor or Government agency, shall be suspended until 5 years after the termination of hostilities as proclaimed by a Presidential proclamation, with notice to Congress, or by a concurrent resolution of Congress.
In United States v. Pflueger, ___ F.3d ___, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 12665 (5th Cir. 2012), here, the Fifth Circuit does not answer to the question (because not asked in that case), but the Fifth Circuit does discuss the WSLA. Under the WSLA, the suspension of the statute of limitations is "until 5 years after the termination of hostilities as proclaimed by a Presidential proclamation, with notice to Congress, or by a concurrent resolution of Congress." The Fifth Circuit held that the authorized hostilities in Iraq continues because there is no Presidential proclamation or concurrent resolution of Congress. The Fifth Circuit declined to adopt the functional analysis applied in United States v. Prosperi, 573 F. Supp. 2d 436 (D. Mass. 2008) which found the war or hostilities in Iraq and Afghanistan to have ceased. Instead, the Fifth Circuit interpreted the statute literally to require a Presidential proclamation or Congressional concurrent resolution, neither of which had occurred.
So, the question remains whether tax crimes and other crimes involving fraud against the U.S. are subject to suspension regardless of whether they are in any way related to the war?
Readers views will be appreciated.