The “Pharma Bro” is probably a fraud, but there does appear to be some amount of good in him, comparatively minor as it may now be. He still has a chance to redeem himself and work for the public interest.
A federal jury found notorious “Pharma bro” Martin Shkreli guilty of multiple criminal charges Friday.
Shkreli, 34, was convicted of some of the eight criminal counts that he had faced, which had included securities fraud and conspiracy to commit both securities fraud and wire fraud, after a more-than-month-long trial in Brooklyn, New York, federal court.
Of the eight counts, Shkreli was found guilty of three. Those included conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and two counts of securities fraud. He was found not guilty of five counts, including those related to wire fraud.
He faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced.
Prosecutors said a mountain of testimony and evidence at trial showed that Shkreli duped multiple investors into putting millions of dollars into two hedge funds he ran, MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare, by falsely claiming to have an excellent record of running such funds, and by falsely stating his investment strategy had a low level of risk.
After getting their money, prosecutor said, Shkreli quickly lost much of it, and also used some of it to capitalize his infant pharmaceuticals company, Retrophin, even as he continued sending out financial statements to investors claiming positive returns.
And when investors asked for their money to be redeemed to them in cash, Shkreli brushed them off for months or more, inventing excuses and suggesting alternative ways to pay them back, according to the prosecution’s case.
Prosecutors said that he then looted the stock of Retrophin and cash from the young firm to pay off the hedge-fund investors who he had ripped off.
Shkreli was found not guilty of the counts that were tied to Retrophin, which were considered to be some of the most serious charges against him.
The charges were unrelated to Shkreli’s first claim to public notoriety: raising the price of an anti-parasite drug called Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent in 2015, while heading another company, Turing Pharmaceuticals.
However, Shkreli was indicted in the federal case several months after that price increase came to light, and after he reveled in the widespread scorn that followed.
This is a breaking news story. Please check back for further updates.