New York: A US jury convicted former hedge fund manager and pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli, once dubbed “The Most Hated Man in America,” of securities fraud.
The 34-year-old, who is best known for jacking up the price of HIV drug Daraprim from USD 13.50 a pill to USD 750 overnight in 2015, was found guilty on three of eight different counts against him following a month-long trial.
The 12-member jury convicted him on two counts of securities fraud, as well as conspiracy to commit securities fraud on the fifth day of deliberations at a federal court in Brooklyn, New York.
Shkreli — who is out on bail — said he was “delighted” with the verdict, saying he had been acquitted on the most serious charges and thanked his defense lawyer, calling him “the greatest lawyer on the planet.”
He was accused on an eight-count indictment for allegedly stealing USD 11 million in stock from his first pharmaceutical company Retrophin to pay off investors who lost money in two of his hedge funds.
He faced up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. On Friday his attorney told reporters that he was hopeful his client may be able to avoid a prison term.
Government prosecutors said the evidence against Shkreli was overwhelming, arguing that he told “lies upon lies” to investors for years in running a Ponzi-like scheme across multiple firms.
Shkreli declined to testify. The defense portrayed him as a troubled genius who camped out in his office in a sleeping bag for two years to build single handedly a successful pharmaceutical to ultimately repay wealthy investors.