What Was Martin Shkreli Convicted Of? "Pharma Bro" Could Face Years In Prison
A jury found infamous pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli guilty on multiple criminal charges in a federal court Friday. Altogether Shkreli was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and two counts of securities fraud. He was found not guilty on five other counts, including three counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
Shkreli was accused of running a Ponzi-style scheme in which he used money from new investors to either convince other investors there were profits or simply pay out dissatisfied older investors. Prosecutors alleged he defrauded multiple investors who'd invested millions into two hedge funds Shkreli ran, MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare. When he lost most of his investors' money, Shkreli reportedly used the remaining money to fund his pharmaceutical company, Retrophin, while continuing to dupe investors with false claims of positive returns. Shkreli then allegedly used money from Retrophin to pay them back.
According to ABC News, the jury deliberated for roughly 36 hours in total after deliberations began Monday following the more-than-a-month-long trial. Shkreli, 34, could face up to 20 years in prison, although it is expected he will receive a lesser sentence, the Washington Post has reported.
In a statement given outside the courtroom, Shkreli said he and his legal team were "delighted in many ways" about the fact that he had been exonerated on the majority of the charges.
"This was a witch hunt of epic proportions and maybe they may have found one or two broomsticks," Shkreli told reporters. "But at the end of the day we've been acquitted of the most important charges of this case and I'm delighted to report that."
While his recent trial had nothing to do with it, it's hard to forget how Shkreli became a household name. In 2015, Shkreli was dubbed "the most hated man in America" when, as the then-CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, he abruptly raised the price of Daraprim, a drug the World Health Organization reportedly deemed an "essential medicine," by more than 5,000 percent. Perhaps even more aggravating than Shkreli's initial price gouging was how unapologetic he was about it at the time.
Although, Shkreli wasn't on trial for raising the price of Daraprim, prosecutors appeared to emphasize the reputation for villainy he'd acquired over the years. "It's time for Martin Shkreli to be held accountable for his behavior, for his choices to lie and to deceive and to steal and to take peoples' money without a second thought, without even a pause," Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis told the jury in her closing arguments, as reported by ABC News.
Shkreli said he and his attorneys "have some work to do" regarding the three counts he was found guilty on. His attorney said they planned to appeal.