Punishment Without a Crime?

September 18, 2017

Charles Kokesh took other peoples’ money – almost $35 million of it.  The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued him.  A jury found that Kokesh had committed securities fraud by siphoning off millions of dollars from investors for more than a decade.  The SEC is a government agency with civil power, so it can’t send anyone to jail.  So the main question was: How much did Kokesh have to pay?  Did he have to give up money he took more than five years ago?  These questions reached the U.S. Supreme Court in summer 2017.  The Supreme Court’s opinion – and what it implies about penalties and punishment – are the subject of this radio commentary.