Shkreli Convicted On 3 Counts In Securities Fraud Trial

Ann Santiago
August 5, 2017

Martin Shkreli was just found guilty of securities fraud. In one recent post, he wrote, "My case is a silly witch hunt perpetrated by self-serving prosecutors".

The charges are related to Shkreli's operation of a pair of hedge funds, MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare.

The charges were unrelated to Shkreli's first claim to public notoriety: raising the price of an anti-parasite drug called Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent in 2015, while heading another company, Turing Pharmaceuticals.

Shkreli, 34, was convicted of some of the eight criminal counts that he had faced, which had included securities fraud and conspiracy to commit both securities fraud and wire fraud, after a more-than-month-long trial in Brooklyn, New York, federal court.

Jurors are deliberating for a fifth day at the federal securities fraud trial of former pharmaceutical company CEO Martin Shkreli (SHKREL'-ee).

The government alleged that Shkreli defrauded investors and lied about the funds' performance, and that he later stole more than $11 million from another company he founded, publicly traded Retrophin (RTRX), to pay back those investors. He had done that, his lawyer Benjamin Brafman said, in part to get MSMB investors what they were due.

One investor had testified that Shkreli reminded him of Dustin Hoffman's autistic savant character in the movie Rain Man.

"You wanna call him names? Cause he's not guilty", Mr Brafman argued in front of the jury. After ousting Shkreli, Retrophin then sued him for $65 million. He became known as the "Pharma Bro" for his snide personality on social media.

He often appeared to revel in the negative publicity he received. Shkreli also claimed to have unreleased music from bands such as The Beatles, Nirvana, and Brand New, but so far has not released anything.

In a freakish coincidence, another man who is also named Martin Shkreli was arraigned before the same Brooklyn judge on Friday. "It's time for Martin Shkreli to be held accountable", she said. "How weird is that?" quipped one lawyer during the court proceedings. According to the complaint, he also issued stock and made cash payments from Retrophin (disguised as payments for consulting services) to disgruntled investors in the hedge funds who were threatening to sue.

He told reporters about his younger namesake: "I don't need that kind of fame".

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