Former drug company CEO Martin Shkreli has been convicted on three counts of fraud this Friday. Shkreli, who various media outlets dubbed the “Pharma Bro,” faces up to 20 years in prison CNBC reports.
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.
Shkreli lost most of his investors’ money in a short period of time, and used the rest to fund his infant pharmaceuticals company, Retrophin, all while telling his investors that they were making returns. When investors asked for their money, Shkreli avoided them for months, giving them excuses and diversions in order to bide time.
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 earned his notorious public persona after hiking the price of the lifesaving drug Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent overnight after he purchased the rights to the drug. The drug is primarily used by AIDS and cancer patients as well as pregnant women. Shkreli called the fraud case against him “bogus.”
“Rarely has a white-collar criminal defendant evoked hatred and scorn from public in the way Shkreli has. Shkreli’s willingness to lie, step on people, flaunt his wealth and look down on others made him a villain that many wanted to see go down in flames,” James Goodnow, an attorney with Fennemore Craig, a corporate defense firm, said according to The Washington Post.
Some think his reputation for being slug and cocky may have been his undoing in the end.
“Shkreli’s lack of contrition and the way he cut people to the bone with his words no doubt evinced anger in the jurors that Shkreli’s defense team simply could not overcome,” Goodnow added.
According to legal experts, Shkreli likely won’t serve 20 years in prison.
“He’s likely going to second guess his decision to not plea and he’ll have a long time to think about it,” former prosecutor for the Securities and Exchange Commission David Chase told WaPo. “Some offers from the government are no brainers that make sense and others aren’t. Some defendants feel they are better off rolling the dice.”
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