“Pharma bro” Martin Shkreli who rose to prominence several years ago after raising the price of a drug used by cancer and HIV patients by over 4,000% overnight after he acquired the rights to the drug is now facing the harsh reality of serious prison time after a series of convictions were handed down today.
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Shkreli was facing eight counts including felony fraud and conspiracy charges. The New York City based trial took over a month to complete and during the trial a seemingly unphased Shkreli was spotted at various social events and carrying on with his life in a relatively normal manner.
According to a CNBC report:
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.
A report by the NY Times goes into more detail about how Mr. Shkreli committed the fraud:
The prosecution brought forth an “avalanche” of evidence, as the prosecutor Jacquelyn Kasulis put it in her rebuttal argument, that included a threatening letter he sent to the wife of a former employee, statements he sent to MSMB investors showing great returns at the same time he had no money in fund accounts, three versions of a backdated agreement to make it look as if MSMB Capital had invested in Retrophin when it had not, as well as claims about assets under management that were wildly out of line with his actual fund size.
“It’s time for Martin Shkreli to be held accountable,” she said.
All told, Shkreli could face up twenty years in prison.