In an order dated yesterday but entered on the docket today, Judge Sullivan denied a request by defendants facing an SEC enforcement suit to delay their depositions for 18 months to run out the statute of limitations on potential criminal charges. The defendants argued that they would be able to testify, instead of invoking their Fifth Amendment rights, if there were no risk of criminal charges. Judge Sullivan denied the motion:
[T]he Court does not find any persuasive grounds for issuing such a blanket order that would permit Defendants to not even appear for a deposition for nearly eighteen months. While a party may have valid grounds for asserting the Fifth Amendment privilege in response to certain questions, the party is, nonetheless, generally required to appear for the deposition and either provide an answer or assert a privilege on a question-by-question basis . . . . [T]he Court finds that the SEC would be prejudiced by an order forcing it to wait eighteen months before it could depose Defendants or even know to what questions they would assert the privilege.