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News Worms


Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli found guilty of securities fraud

Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli found guilty of securities fraud

Federal prosecutors had accused the 34-year-old of defrauding investors in his hedge funds and stealing from his old drug company, Retrophin Inc, to pay them back.

Eccentric former pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli, dubbed "the most hated man in America", has been convicted of fraud for deceiving investors in a pair of failing hedge funds.

His attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said after the verdict was announced, "This was a hard case primarily because of the anti-Shkreli sentiment, and to the extent that this jury acquitted Martin of five of eight counts, it is a real testament to trial by jury".

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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.

After MSMB Capital collapsed in early 2011, Shkreli continued to send out statements to investors, pretending the fund was still making money despite the fact that it was entirely broke.

"I don't think it mattered to him - it was just what he thought he could get away with", said Richard Kocher, a New Jersey construction company owner who invested $200,000 with Shkreli in 2012. "Today's conviction shows that those who corrupt the market will ultimately be brought to justice".

His defense team argued that his investors made hefty profits. He also emphasized that none of Shkreli's investors lost money, a rarity in a securities fraud case.

The federal trial "exposed Martin Shkreli for who he is really is - a con man who stole millions", said another prosecutor, Jacquelyn Kasulis.

His online comments garnered him a gag order from Judge Matsumoto during the first week of the trial.

"In terms of people skills? Because they recognized genius", Brafman said, adding that they had signed agreements that his client wasn't liable if they lost their money.

That mission was the start-up pharmaceutical company Retrophin, reportedly founded to find a cure for rare disease called myotubular myopathy. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

No sentencing date was set.

He is now free on bail.

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