August 7, 2017

Martin Shkreli is Found Guilty of Fraud

By the C|C Whistleblower Lawyer Team

A recent New York Times story details the reaction to a federal jury finding Martin Shkreli guilty on three counts of fraud. Shkreli faces up to twenty years in prison for each of the first two counts and five years in prison on the final count with sentencing pending. The jury spent five days deliberating before coming to its three guilty verdicts and acquitting Shkreli on five other charges. Shkreli had been accused of securities and wire fraud in relation to MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare, two hedge funds he ran. The prosecution also argued that Shkreli used Retrophin, a pharmaceutical company he founded, to repay investors in his two hedge funds.

Shkreli is well known for his tenure as the head of Turing Pharmaceuticals. During his time at Turing, Shkreli notably raised the price of Daraprim from $13.50 per tablet to $750 per tablet. This price increase led to contentious testimony from Shkreli in front of Congress. The securities case here was independent of Shkreli’s time at Turing. The jury acquitted Shkreli of most of the counts of conspiracy to commit securities and wire fraud.

Observers alleged that Shkreli did not seem to take the case seriously due to the fact that he met federal authorities without a lawyer, allegedly made faces during testimony, allegedly called the prosecution team “junior varsity,” and allegedly read a book during final statements. The prosecution argued that the fraud occurred because Shkreli used funds from Retrophin a public company to pay off MSMB investors after lying to MSMB investors to get their money in the first place. The defense argued that the MSMB investors actually made back the money they invested so there was no harm done there. The prosecution ultimately argued that it was not the responsibility of Retrophin to pay back Shkreli’s old investors.

Shkreli himself appeared relaxed about his possible sentence indicating in a livestream following the verdict that he believed his sentence would be “close to nil” and that he would not be spending jail time in a maximum security facility. A sentencing date is not yet set as the judge has demanded information about how much money was lost and set a submission date for the fall for that information.

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