‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli guilty on 3 counts in securities fraud trial
ABC News – A jury has found “Phama Bro” Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical CEO notorious for drastically increasing the price of a life-saving drug, guilty on three of eight counts in an unrelated federal securities fraud trial.
Shkreli was accused of funneling money from MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare investors to Retrophin, and prosecutors argued he then used money from Retrophin to pay them back.
Deliberations on the eight counts against him began on Monday and lasted approximately 36 hours total.
He was found guilty of: securities fraud in connection with MSMB Capital, securities fraud in connection with MSMB Healthcare and conspiracy to commit securities fraud in connection with Retrophin.
He was found not guilty of: conspiracy to commit securities fraud in connection with MSMB Capital, conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with MSMB Capital, conspiracy to commit securities fraud in connection with MSMB Healthcare, conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with MSMB Healthcare and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with Retrophin.
In closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis called Shkreli “calculating.”
“Lying to people to get them to invest with you is fraud,” said the prosecutor. ”He knowingly lied over and over again to his investors to get their money and then to keep their money.”
“Who he really is is a con man who stole millions of dollars,” she said. Kasulis gave a bank robbery analogy to the jury, arguing that if you rob a bank and then rob a second bank to pay the first bank back, you still robbed a bank. “You can’t rob Peter to pay Paul. It doesn’t work that way,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you paid people back years later after you’ve stolen their money and you’ve lost all their money. Those people are still victims of fraud.” Kasulis emphatically stated that Shkreli is not above the law.
“It’s time for Martin Shkreli to be held accountable for his behavior, for his choices to lie and to deceive and to steal and to take peoples’ money without a second thought, without even a pause,” said Kasulis.
Shkreli’s defense attorney Benjamin Brafman told the jury the alleged defrauded investors ended up making profits because of Shkreli despite their accusations.
Brafman said in this case “Reasonable doubt is now circling the atmosphere like a bunch of drones.”
Brafman gave a cancer analogy to the jury, saying before an oncologist diagnoses someone with something as life altering cancer, the doctor feels for lumps and runs tests. “When you deliver a verdict of guilty, God forbid, that is forever,” he said. Brafman encouraged the jurors to be “proud” to say “I gave Martin Shkreli a fair trial even though he is Martin Shkreli.”
Shkreli made headlines in 2015 for raising the price of Daraprim, an antiparasitic drug used to treat infections, from $13.50 to $750 a tablet after acquiring the drug from another pharmaceutical company.
Days later, Shkreli told ABC News that the company would lower the price of Daraprim “to a point that is more affordable and is able to allow the company to make a profit, but a very small profit.”
The drug is used by those with cancer or HIV. Before Shkreli’s announcement, Turing Pharmaceuticals released a statement saying it was aiming to create new medications to treat the disease in an effort to reduce the side effects and that the higher price would subsidize costs for developing new drugs.
ABC News’ Julia Jacobo contributed to this report.