University professors support Traffic Monsoon SCOTUS writ
Five university professors have filed a brief in support of Charles Scoville’s Traffic Monsoon SCOTUS writ.
The filed July 22nd brief is signed by
- Joseph Grundfest – W.A. Franke Professor of Law and Business at Stanford Law School;
- Todd Henderson – Michael J. Marks Professor of Law at the University of Chicago Law School;
- Jonathan Macey – Stan Professor of Corporate Law, Corporate Finance and Securities Law at Yale Law School;
- Richard Painter – S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Minnesota Law School; and
- Adam C. Pritchard – Frances and George Skestos Professor of Law at the University of Michigan School of Law
According to the professors, neither Scoville’s attorney or the SEC assisted in authoring the brief.
Neither did the professors receive any financial compensation for its preparation or submission.
The filing of the brief was consented to by both Scoville’s attorney and the SEC.
I’m not aware of any connection between Scoville and/or Traffic Monsoon and the professors, so I’m taking that at face value.
As per the brief, the professors argue that the Tenth Circuit appeals court committed errors rooted in interpretation of the Dodd-Frank Act.
The Tenth Circuit should not have applied U.S. securities laws to wholly foreign conduct without a clear indication that Congress intended those provisions to have extraterritorial effect.
Likewise, because the Tenth Circuit’s decision has the effect of extending the reach of criminal provisions of the U.S. securities laws, it should not have reached that conclusion unless the intent of Congress to expand criminal liability was clear.
(The professors) believe that, if allowed to stand, the Tenth Circuit’s decision below would create substantial uncertainty about the scope of the antifraud provisions under U.S. securities law, unduly interfere with foreign sovereigns’ ability to regulate their own securities markets, and create uncertainty as to how to interpret securities laws that are otherwise clear from their text.
Further, as scholars who have written in the field of statutory interpretation, amici believe it more broadly important that statutory text be interpreted to mean what Congress says and what the President has signed.
It is not for the courts to re-interpret clear statutory text, even if some legislative history suggests that the text does not reflect the intent of certain members of Congress.
Being neither a lawyer or professor, it’s my humble opinion that it’s a reasonable assertion that Congress never intended to create a loophole through which US Ponzi scammers can defraud international investors.
And remember, that’s what’s ultimately at stake here.
Should Scoville receive a favorable judgment from the Supreme Court, the granted preliminary injunction is reversed and he gets to keep funds stolen from Traffic Monsoon investors.
That’s not the end of the SEC’s case, but it pretty much kills any hope Traffic Monsoon victims have of partial recovery.
Traffic Monsoon remains a Ponzi scheme either way, but the issue hinging on a Supreme Court ruling is whether Scoville gets away with or not.
And going forward, whether every other US-based Ponzi admin who decides to target and offshore investors gets away with it too.
The SEC have until August 21st to file their response to Scoville’s writ submission.
Sometime after that a decision will be made on whether the Supreme Court will hear Scoville’s case or reject it.