Shkreli gained international attention because of his decision to raise the price of life-saving drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill.
Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli was convicted on Friday on three of eight counts at his trial for securities fraud.
After five days of deliberations, the jury of seven women and five men convicted Shkreli of two counts of securities fraud for lying to investors of his failed hedge fund, and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
He was acquitted of two counts of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and three counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Shkreli was charged with using the assets of new companies to pay off debts from his failed hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management. Prosecutors claimed that with regulators and auditors breathing down their necks, Shkreli and lawyer Evan Greebel used cash and stock from Retrophin — a publicly traded pharmaceutical company he founded in 2011 — to satisfy claims from his hedge fund investors.
Throughout it all, Shkreli was accused of doctoring financial reports to dupe investors and officials.
Shkreli was acquitted of defrauding Retrophin out of millions of dollars.
After the hearing Shkreli — who was accompanied by his lawyer — said he was “delighted” with the verdict and that he was acquitted of “the most important charges.”
He went on to call his prosecution “a witch hunt of epic proportions.”
Prior to his December 2015 arrest, Shkreli earned international attention for his actions unrelated to the fraud case, mostly because of his decision to raise the price of life-saving drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill.
Shkreli also has a brash social media presence, which led to his suspension from Twitter for harassing a Teen Vogue writer.
“There is an image issue that Martin and I will be discussing in the next days,” his lawyer Benjamin Brafman said outside the courthouse following his client’s conviction. “Some people skills don’t translate well.”
Brafman said he expects Shkreli to be sentenced to little if any jail time — he faces a maximum of 20 years but the sentence will be based on the amount of money lost. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
“Martin is going to continue to find and develop drugs for the treatment of rare diseases,” Brafman said.
His five-week trial began with a complicated jury selection — hundreds of prospective jurors were dismissed as some referred to Shkreli as “the most hated man in America,” “the fact of corporate greed,” and “a snake.” Ultimately after three days of jury selection, five men and seven women were picked.
Shkreli himself did not testify during the trial. In a Facebook post, he quoted Jay-Z lyrics to justify why he did not take the stand.
“Plead the fif when it comes to the fam im like a dog i dont speak but i understand,” he wrote on July 24.
During the trial a witness testified that funds from Retrophin were used to buy $10,000 worth of tickets to a 2012 Jay Z concert in New York, according to multiple media reports.
During closing arguments, Assistant US attorney Alixandra Smith told the jury that Shkreli has told “lies upon lies” to trick his investors out of millions.
“Depending on which investors he is talking to, he changes the story,” she said. “The defendant was making these misrepresentation because he knew by saying these things he would get people to give him money.”
Shkreli’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, argued that the complaints from the investors are “rich people BS.”
“I feel like a life guard on a beach,” Brafman said. “It is my worst fear to not be able to rescue someone. There is Martin floating in his own little world, I could swim out and save him in two minutes, unless a current takes him away. I need your help to try and save Martin.”
After closing arguments Shkreli took to Facebook weigh in — echoing many terms currently used by President Trump concerning the investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
“My case is a silly witch hunt perpetrated by self-serving prosecutors,” he wrote. “Thankfully my amazing attorney sent them back to junior varsity where they belong. Drain the swamp. Drain the sewer that is the DOJ. MAGA.”