He was convicted of three counts, including securities fraud.
Photo by Martin Shkreli/YouTube.
Back in 2015, pharma CEO Martin Shkreli was the focus of international outrage after his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of Daraprim from $13.50 a pill to $750 after acquiring its marketing rights. Daraprim is a treatment for toxoplasmosis, a parasitic condition that can kill people with compromised immune systems, including pregnant women, unborn children, and AIDS patients. Now, Shkreli is back in the news after being served a heaping plate of karmic retribution in federal court.
On Friday, Shkreli was found guilty of three out of eight charges, including securities fraud. Shkreli is currently free on $5 million bail and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years. Prosecutors came after the 34-year-old “pharma bro,” claiming he’d defrauded two of his hedge funds and multiple investors of millions of dollars. Shkreli repaid them with money he looted from Retrophin, a biotech company he created.
During the trial, witnesses testified that Shkreli persuaded investors to invest in his hedge funds by falsely claiming they were low-risk and that he had a history of success running such funds. After accepting the money, Shkreli quickly lost most of it, and then sent out false financial statements claiming big returns. When investors asked for their cash, Shkreli brushed them off and suggested alternative methods of repayment.
“I think we are delighted in many ways,” Shkreli said after the verdict. “This was a witch hunt of epic proportions, and maybe they found one or two broomsticks, but at the end of the day we’ve been acquitted of the most important charges in this case.” After returning home from his day in court, Shkreli live-streamed his reaction on YouTube while sipping a beer. He told an audience of over 3,000 that pharma companies are doing “God’s work” and that he’s going to “live a great life.”