In a sweeping decision, Gabelli v. Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Supreme Court unanimously imposed a strict five year statute of limitations in actions brought by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The Supreme Court ruled that because the agency serves an investigative purpose and seeks civil penalties intended to punish, the SEC must bring claims within five years of their occurrence, and cannot take advantage of the “discovery rule,” which allows private litigants to bring claims for five years after a fraud is discovered. This could have implications for matters arising from the early stages of the credit crisis (i.e. from 2008).