Jury finds Martin Shkreli guilty on 3 counts of securities fraud — and he's 'delighted'
A jury has found Martin Shkreli guilty on three of the 8 felony fraud charges he faced, putting the young biotech executive in front of a prison sentence that could run for years.
After 5 full days of deliberations, the jury concluded that Shkreli was guilty of two of the securities fraud changes and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.
— Meg Tirrell (@megtirrell) August 4, 2017
Ever unrepentant, Shkreli will not be throwing himself on the mercy of the court. Never one to shy away from self-congratulations, Shkreli emerged from the courthouse and declared a resounding victory.
“I think we’re delighted in many ways with this verdict,” he told reporters. The case against him was an “epic witch hunt” and all the prosecutors did was find some old broomsticks. The key, as far as he and defense attorney Ben Brafman were concerned, was getting off on count 7 related to looting Retrophin of millions.
“I think we would love to have a complete sweep but 5 out of 8 counts not guilty is in our view a very good verdict,” said Brafman. The case, he added, was made difficult by anti-Shkreli sentiment, but he sounded confident that Shkreli will be let off with a “very lenient” sentence.
Shkreli headed straight to his laptop and a rendezvous with his followers on YouTube. And he quickly scoffed at the idea that he would get more than a year-long sentence in prison.
“Those punishments are going to be close to nil,” he said about being convicted of lying to investors, after reviewing the sentencing guidelines. “You can add up all the points of an offense and determine what the punishment would be.” Prison sentences are directly related to financial loss, he added. “My investors didn’t lose any money, they tripled their money.”
And: “No jail time would be definitely ideal. If the charges stand it’s possible it’s a 6 month or a one-year sentence.” A few months in “Club Fed,” he boasted, and he would be back on the streets.
Shkreli faced 8 counts accusing him of defrauding investors in his hedge funds, then paying them back with stock he looted from Retrophin, a biotech company he founded. Some of those investors were also handed phony consulting agreements to help cover his moves, according to prosecutors.
Shkreli became a widely hated poster child for pharma greed after raising the price of an old, cheap drug he bought by more than 5000%. But while it proved loathsome to millions, and a wide variety of lawmakers in both parties, there’s no law against it in the US.
In fact, Shkreli still owns a big chunk of Turing, which in turn sells daraprim. He recently fended off an attempted board coup, lining up the election of a slate of new directors with whom he has close ties.
For much of the past two years Shkreli has mocked and taunted journalists who covered his story, as well as a legion of critics who took pot shots at him on the social media outlets he avidly employed. Shkreli was recently banned from Twitter, though, and won’t have much access to his online streams on YouTube if he winds up in jail.
Shkreli has repeatedly tried to get back on to Twitter after they repeatedly blocked earlier attempts. This evening, his latest stab@SamTheManTP went down abruptly, blocked after he used it to defend his conviction as a win.
Image: Martin Shkreli right after his verdict was announced. Credit: Getty