Renowned 'pharma bro' Martin Shkreli was found guilty on three of eight counts of securities fraud by a jury in Brooklyn after five days of deliberation by the seven-woman, five-man panel.
He was convicted of two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
The 34-year-old former pharma CEO had been on trial since late June for defrauding more than half a dozen investors who put money into two hedge funds he ran.
Shkreli was defended by Benjamin Brafman against eight counts of securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He could get 20 years in a federal prison if convicted, but sentencing guidelines could knock that time down considerably.
"We are delighted with the verdict," Shkreli said at a press conference outside the courthouse.
In its second day of deliberations, the jury asked U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matumoto for guidance regarding the definitions of "assets under management" and fraudulent intent." Matumoto told the jury that it was up to them to decide what Shkreli meant when he spoke of assets under management. The judge also told jurors to refer to the jury instructions regarding the definition of fraudulent intent. That definition carried weight for the jury as Shkreli had to be found to have acted with fraudulent intent to be convicted of any of the charges.
Reportedly, Shkreli spent some of his time waiting for his verdict on Twitter. Though the social media platform has repeatedly suspended his accounts, under the handle Sam @SamTheManTP he tweeted "C'mon, gimme dat verdict."
The four-week trial featured witnesses that included investors in Shkreli's two failed hedge funds who told the jury stories of delayed payouts and tall tales about why their investments were not going well. The testimony painted a picture of Shkreli as the master of spinning a yarn and making payments to some investors with cash from newer investors, with prosecutors equating the funds with Ponzi schemes. Federal prosecutor Jacquelyn Kasulis called Shkreli a "con man who stole millions" in her closing argument.
Brafman, whose client roster has included singers Michael Jackson and Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs, and Mafia don Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano, argued Shkreli had made his investors whole when his drug company Retrophin went public and, in fact, some made more money when the shares climbed in value. In a defiant closing argument, Brafman looked the jury over and asked rhetorically "Who lost anything?" He then answered his own query, "Nobody."
Shkreli did not testify on his own behalf, which is not unusual in a criminal trial. Indeed, given Shrkreli's argumentative nature and quick tongue, Brafman aired on the side of caution by keeping his client in his seat and out of the line of fire of sharp cross-examination from Kasulis.
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The indictment was unsealed in December of 2014 and was tied to allegations that Shkreli used assets that belonged to biotech company Retrophin to pay off investors in MSMB Capital Management, the hedge fund he ran before he founded Retrophin as CEO. He also ran a related firm, MSMB Healthcare Management.
Shkreli, who carries the nickname Pharma Bro, has developed a larger-than-life profile thanks in part to his move as Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO when he purchased 62-year-old Daraprim from Impax Laboratories for $55 million and repriced the drug from $13.50 a dose up to $750 a pill. The drug is used to treat malaria and toxoplasmosis. When Shkreli was roundly criticized for the 5,455% price hike, he said that the increase brought the drug into line with other medications used for rare conditions. He also said that a discount would be available for some patients and that the increase would allow privately held Turing to do research and bring better drugs to market to aid more patients.
But it wasn't just his professional exploits that drew attention to Shkreli, who seemed to suntan in the harsh rays of the public spotlight. He paid $2 million for the sole copy of Wu-Tang Clan's double album "Once Upon A Time in Shaolin" with the stipulation that he could not commercially release the album for 88 years, and then leaked the album to fulfill the promise to do so if Donald Trump won the White House.
He live-streamed his life out on YouTube from his Brooklyn apartment and became a terror on Twitter to the point that the social network gave him the boot on a temporary basis after he attacked Teen Vogue editor Lauren Duca online. Later, Twitter made the suspension permanent.
Shkreli began his investment career as a 17-year-old college intern at Cramer, Berkowitz & Co., the hedge fund operated by TheStreet's founder and CNBC host Jim Cramer. (The Deal is owned by TheStreet.)
Later, Shkreli went on to work at Intrepid Capital Management for "Tiger Cub" Steve Shapiro.
Retrophin revealed in 2014 SEC filings that the SEC was investigating Shkreli over allegations he had used consulting agreements as legal settlements. Last August, the company sued Shkreli in federal court in Manhattan for $65 million in damages, essentially charging Retrophin was brought public so that its shares could be utilized to pay off MSMB investors. The lawsuit alleged that Shkreli had been a "faithless servant" when he headed up the company. In September, the company sent Shkreli packing from the company he founded.
Shkreli denied the allegations at the time, saying his old company included "half-truths and speculative conclusions" in its legal action.
The SEC brought a parallel civil fraud action against Shkreli, but the action was stayed in light of the criminal prosecution.
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This story was originally published at 2:46 pm ET.