On May 12, 2014, the United Stated District Court for the Southern District of Florida held that the five year statute of limitations governing SEC enforcement actions divested the court of subject matter jurisdiction over an SEC enforcement action that was filed more than five years after the claims accrued.  SEC v. GrahamNo. 13-10011 (S.D. Fla. May 12, 2014).  The SEC filed a civil enforcement action against the defendants concerning an alleged offering fraud relating to resort condominium investments.  The SEC filed the action seven years after the last sale of an interest in the condominium investment.  Faced with the statute of limitations issue, the SEC argued that the court could still hear the case and award equitable and declaratory relief to the SEC, such as an injunction and disgorgement of ill-gotten gains.  The court rejected the SEC’s arguments and granted summary judgment against the SEC.  The court found that 28 U.S.C. §2462 is not merely a claims processing form of a statute of limitations.  The court reasoned that §2462’s clause that provides that an SEC action “shall not be entertained unless commenced within five years from the date when the claim first accrued” operates as a limitation on the court’s jurisdiction.  In rejecting the SEC’s argument that the court still had the power to award declaratory and equitable relief, the court found that all the relief the SEC sought fell within the bounds of §2462 as they operated as “a civil fine, penalty, or forfeiture, pecuniary or otherwise.”  According to the court, since the alleged misconduct was not ongoing at the time that the action was filed, the declaratory and injunctive relief the SEC sought acted as punishment, “pecuniary or otherwise,” branding the defendants as wrongdoers and seeking a lifetime ban on future violations of the securities laws despite no evidence of continuing harm.  Likewise, the court found that disgorgement “can truly be regarded as nothing other than a forfeiture (both pecuniary or otherwise), which . . . is expressly covered by §2462.”  Thus, the court found that it had no subject matter jurisdiction over the SEC’s civil enforcement action.