Jurors: In the end, Martin Shkreli was done in by his own inflated ego
At the end of Martin Shkreli’s fraud trial in New York, one word evidently played a big role in getting off several of the biggest charges against him. That word was intent.
The judge in the case offered up a list of the jurors in the case to reporters on Monday, and several were willing to chat about the lengthy deliberations that went into the three guilty verdicts they came up with — two on fraud and one conspiracy to commit fraud.
Those guilty verdicts centered on Shkreli’s repeated instances of lying to his hedge fund investors. And while several of the jurors told The New York Times and other publications that Shkreli seemed a bit “off,” they were satisfied that he knew the difference between right and wrong.
But one unnamed juror told The Times that Shkreli didn’t appear to intend to defraud the biotech company Retrophin when he used the company’s stock to pay off the hedge fund money his investors had lost. And the jurors also were ready to believe that Shkreli intended for at least one of the hedge fund investors he paid back with Retrophin stock — after insisting he sign a consulting agreement — to actually do some sort of drug development consulting.
In the end, Shkreli wouldn’t have faced fraud charges on lying to his investors if he had just been up front with his investors about the money.
“All he had to do was to tell everyone, ‘I’m sorry, I lost the money, all I can say is I’m sorry,’ and that would be it,” said Lois Pounds. “But there’s a side of him — I think it’s partly ego — that he wanted to be thought of as this great financial individual.”
“He wanted to make people whole,” she told the New York Post. “I believe he had good intent, he just went about it the wrong way.”
Pounds, clearly the most chatty of the jurors on the case, had this to say to CNBC:
“Martin Shkreli is his own worst enemy.”
Shkreli faces up to 20 years in prison, though he’s said repeatedly that he expects to get off with a light sentence.
Image: Getty, Bloomberg