Bill to battle financial fraud passes Alabama House

The Alabama House of today passed House Bill (HB) 325, which increases the statute of limitations for serious crimes. Right now, the State only has three years to investigate and prosecute most felony offenses. The bill will allow for the prosecution of crimes involving securities fraud and other thefts involving deception for a period of five years following the discovery of the deception or fraud, instead of the date of the transaction. The additional time will significantly aide law enforcement and prosecutors in gathering evidence. Complex economic and financial crimes are difficult to detect and are often not reported to law enforcement until after the present three year statute of limitations has already lapsed.

The bill was brought to the House floor by Representative Paul DeMarco (R-Jefferson), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. In his remarks, Rep. DeMarco stated to the House members, "We can't afford to let criminals get away with cheating people out of their life savings and this bill will improve the ability of law enforcement officials to prosecute criminals who orchestrate long-term financial and investment schemes."