Is the federal government trying to subvert American capitalism by pushing for extraterritorial application of American criminal law as a way to induce the flight of capital, and the capital classes, from the United States?
Is this theory so radical? Little else explains why federal government lawyers are making certain arguments to defend the fraud convictions of two Wall Street financiers – Ross Mandell and Adam Harrington of Sky Capital — against their appeal. Our government now argues that “criminal statutes have extraterritorial reach so long as the nature of the crime does not turn on where the defendant acts and where restricting the statute to domestic acts would undermine the statute’s purpose.” Appellate Brief For The United States of America, Mandell v. U.S., Docket Nos. 12-1967 and 12-2090, at 34 (emphasis added). You read that right; where the crime occurs is irrelevant, because if our federal government declares the “purpose” of an American law reaches beyond our borders, you can be prosecuted for something you are accused of doing abroad, even if that act is not a crime offshore! Unless American courts reaffirm a recent Supreme Court decision, our Justice Department can stretch the reach of America’s metastasizing criminal law and equally byzantine civil law anywhere on the planet. Extraterrestrials, beware.