WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court freed three convicted bid-riggers from prison just before Thanksgiving because the statute of limitations had run out on their alleged violations, according to the court’s newly released opinion.

A three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled 2-1 last month to overturn the convictions of former General Electric bankers Dominick Carollo, Steven Goldberg, and Peter Grimm on grounds that the federal prosecutors did not move quickly enough to indict them for alleged fraud committed near the turn of the millennium.

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