‘Pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli found guilty of securities fraud

Former drug company executive Martin Shkreli is surrounded by news cameras as he exits U.S. District Court following the second day of jury deliberations in his securities fraud trial in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, U.S., August 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical CEO most known for a price-gouging scandal, was convicted Friday on two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

He was found not guilty on five other counts in the case — three counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.

Shkreli said during a press conference following the jury’s announcement that he was “delighted by the verdict” since he was found not guilty of a key charge regarding a former company, Retrophin.

“This was a witch hunt of epic proportions,” Shkreli said. “Maybe they found one or two broomsticks, but at the end of the day we’ve been acquitted of the most important charges in this case and I’m delighted to report that.”

Shkreli made headlines in September 2015 after he raised the price of Daraprim, a drug used to treat a parasitic infection, by 5,000%. The charges for this trial weren’t related to that price hike; they stemmed from events earlier in his career while he managed hedge funds

In court, his lawyer argued that his notoriety shouldn’t influence the case.

“You may not like Martin Shkreli,” Shkreli’s lawyer Ben Brafman said in the case’s opening statement. “And you may have reasons to hate Martin Shkreli, but that is not a basis on which to convict.”

Prosecutors on the other hand, claimed that starting in 2009, Shkreli lost money in two of the hedge funds he ran, hid that from his investors, and instead paid them back with money he obtained from Retrophin.

Shkreli faced up to 20 years in jail

This story is developing. 

SEE ALSO: ‘He’s lying to my face:’ Martin Shkreli’s former boss recalls how the ‘Pharma bro’ was fired

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