Martin Shkreli, 34, has confidently courted controversy in recent years, bulldozing his way into Wall Street and the drug industry, raising the price of a lifesaving drug by 5,000 percent overnight, boasting that he would outwit prosecutors in his federal fraud case, and live-streaming and tweeting throughout his five-week trial.
But on Friday, after five days of deliberations, jurors convicted him on three counts of fraud in federal court, and he now faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the first two counts, and up to five years on the final count.
Mr. Shkreli looked shaken as the judge read the verdict. But not long after, he appeared outside of court and returned to form, saying that he was “delighted, in many ways,” with the verdict. “This was a witch hunt of epic proportions, and maybe they found one or two broomsticks,” he said.
Later in the afternoon, he was live-streaming once more, sipping beer and joking about prison life from his Manhattan apartment.
At the trial in the Federal District Court in Brooklyn, Mr. Shkreli was accused of securities and wire fraud related to two hedge funds he ran, MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare. Prosecutors charged he illegally used a pharmaceutical company he founded, Retrophin, to repay defrauded MSMB investors. And they said he secretly controlled a huge number of Retrophin shares.
He never seemed to take his case seriously, meeting with federal authorities without a lawyer, making faces during testimony, calling the prosecution “junior varsity” and reading a book during final statements.
Jurors convicted Mr. Shkreli of three of the eight counts: securities fraud in connection with his hedge fund MSMB Capital; securities fraud in connection with MSMB Healthcare; and conspiracy to commit securities fraud related to the Retrophin stock scheme, in which he tried to quietly control a huge portion of Retrophin stock.
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SOURCE: NY Times, Stephanie Clifford and Colin Moynihan