Published: Sun, August 06, 2017
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Martin 'Pharma Bro' Shkreli Found Guilty of Three Charges

Martin 'Pharma Bro' Shkreli Found Guilty of Three Charges

A federal jury found famed "Pharama bro" Martin Shkreli guilty on three of eight counts of securities fraud on Friday. Following the verdict, Shkreli told reporters, "This was a witch hunt of epic proportions". He kept up his use of social media throughout the trial, posting videos on Facebook despite efforts by prosecutors and his own lawyer to keep him quiet.

Lead lawyer Benjamin Brafman told journalists: "I hope tomorrow's reports inform the public that Martin Shkreli went to trial and despite being Martin Shkreli he won more than he lost".

Before going on trial, Shkreli had been best known for raising the price of anti-infection drug Daraprim by 5 000 per cent in 2015 as chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals.

The fraud charges are unrelated to the drug price hike, and have to do with a Ponzi scheme he ran between 2009 and 2014 in which he bilked investors out of a total of $11 million.

Martin Shkreli was found guilty of securities fraud today, Friday, August 4, 2017. Was it possible, Brafman repeatedly asked, for someone to be guilty of a crime when he didn't intend to commit one?

Brafman said in this case "Reasonable doubt is now circling the atmosphere like a bunch of drones".

It was a bad day to be named Martin Shkreli.

The elder Shkreli and his partners are accused of laundering about $800,000 in drug money.

During his time on Wall Street, Shkreli became known as a savvy and unusual character, one with a talent for pharmacology and self-destructive behavior. Mr. Shkreli emphasized the jury's finding that he did not conspire to steal from Retrophin. "When you deliver a verdict of guilty, God forbid, that is forever", he said.

"What do you hear from this, every single witness?"

Prosecutors "blame me for everything", he said. And I'm experienced. I can save him in two minutes, except for a current, a riptide. And Retrophin wouldn't exist without him, he said, boasting that he had taken it from an "idea in my head to a half-a-billion-dollar company".

An hour after Shkreli's hearing, he livestreamed more of his reaction from his YouTube account, where he drank a beer and claimed that his sentence would be "close to nil".

The jury in New York City has deliberated five days. In the end, though, the defense strategy didn't fully work. He faces up to 20 years in prison for the convictions, although legal experts were quick to point out he is unlikely to serve that much time.

While the defense expressed joy at the verdict - Shkreli said he was "delighted the jury did his job - the prosecution likewise claimed victory, saying "justice was done".

Like this: