A once-jailed general counsel to Rite Aid Corp. on Monday lost his bid for the company to cover millions in attorneys' fees and expenses associated with his conviction in an accounting fraud scandal, after a Delaware vice chancellor ruled that time for the demand ran out in early 2014.

Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster said that a three-year clock on former executive Franklin C. Brown's indemnification action began ticking on Jan. 10, 2011, when the U.S. Supreme Court created a point of finality in the case by declining to accept an appeal of Brown's 2003 conviction after a $1.6 billion accounting and fraud scandal.

Mr. Brown, now 88, disputed that, but it didn’t change the ruling from the bench. His fee lawsuit, filed in October, estimated that more than $6.3 million had gone to investigation, preparation and defense expenses in the criminal case. His attorney did not seek a specific amount on Monday.

Brown served more than five years of a seven-and-a-half-year federal prison sentence before his release in 2011 after he was convicted for crimes connected with a $1.6 billion accounting restatement. The original charges included conspiracy to commit accounting fraud, filing false statements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstructing agency proceedings, and witness tampering.

"Rite Aid's hope was, with Mr. Brown's conviction, this case would go away," Rite Aid attorney David J. Margules of Ballard Spahr LLP said. "They only brought their claims back to life when Mr. Brown decided he wanted to go back to war."

Rite Aid is represented by David J. Margules, Elizabeth A. Sloan, Jessica C. Watt, William A. Slaughter and Andrew E. Kampf of Ballard Spahr LLP.