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SEC Penalty Claim Against Gabelli Struck by Appeals Court

A U.S. appeals court struck a Securities and Exchange Commission civil-penalty claim against Marc J. Gabelli and another Gabelli Funds LLC official after the Supreme Court ruled the agency filed the claim too late.

The New York-based appeals court today also upheld the reinstatement of other claims in the SEC’s suit, reaffirming part of its own decision in the case in 2011.

In February, the Supreme Court ruled that the SEC should have sued Gabelli and Bruce Alpert for alleged market timing within the five-year statute of limitations for such suits. The SEC had argued that the five-year clock doesn’t start until the agency has reason to know a violation has taken place.

The Supreme Court decision in the Gabelli case may have implications for other cases, including the SEC investigation into possible insider trading at Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors LLC.

The SEC filed its complaint against Gabelli in 2008. The alleged wrongdoing took place from 1999 to 2002, when Gabelli was portfolio manager for the Gabelli Global Growth Fund and Alpert was chief operating officer of Rye, New York-based Gabelli Funds.

The case is Securities and Exchange Commission v. Gabelli, 10-3581, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Manhattan).

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