Coverage: Shkreli convicted on three counts
Jurors convicted investor and pharmaceutical company executive Martin Shkreli 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.
Stephanie Clifford and Colin Moynihan of The New York Times had the news:
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.
Dan Mangan of CNBC.com reported that the jury rejected part of the projection’s argument:
While the seven-woman, five-man jury clearly accepted some of the prosecution’s evidence, it rejected other parts of their argument.
The mixed decision perplexed many in the courtroom, including the 34-year-old Shkreli, who first drew widespread public scorn in 2015 for raising the price of a lifesaving drug by more than 5,000 percent.
He looked over quizzically at one of this lawyers, Marc Agnifilo, each of the three times that Judge Kiyo Matsumoto interrupted a set of “not guilty” announcements she was reading off of the jury’s verdict sheet with a “guilty” one.
A juror who was quoted anonymously by the New York Times, said “In some of the counts at least we couldn’t find that he intentionally stole from them and the reasoning was to hurt them.”
Renae Merle of The Washington Post noted that Shkreli believes he was vindicated:
Yet with the audacity that has become his trademark, Shkreli met a scrum of reporters outside the courthouse and said he was “delighted in many ways,” noting that he had been exonerated on charges he considered more serious.
“This was a witch hunt of epic proportions,” he said. “Maybe they found one or two broomsticks, but at the end of the day we were acquitted of the most important charges in this case.”
Prosecutors convinced the jury of five men and seven women that Shkreli, 34, misled investors in two of his hedge funds, MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare. Shkreli lied in order to get their money and then to cover up massive losses after he made a bad stock bet, according prosecutors.
“Justice was served,” said Bridget M. Rohde, acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
But the jurors did not find him guilty of one serious charge: That Shkreli had looted a pharmaceutical he founded, Retrophin, of $10 million, to repay investors.