Pharma bro, Martin Shkreli, convicted during securities fraud trial

Martin Shkreli arrives at federal court in New York, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. Jurors are starting their fifth day of deliberations at the federal securities fraud trial of the former pharmaceutical company CEO. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

(CBS) — A jury has found Martin Shkreli guilty on two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, and not guilty on five other counts, in a trial that centered on the former pharmaceutical executive’s management of two hedge funds.

The Friday decision ends five days of jury deliberations after a five-week trial in federal court in Brooklyn. Shkreli, a brash 34-year-old best-known for his belligerent personality and for hiking the price of a life-saving drug, Daraprim, while CEO at Turing Pharmaceuticals.

“This was a difficult 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,” said Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, in a statement outside the courthouse after the ruling.

The current case revolved around a separate issue. Shkreli was charged with eight separate counts of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud, for his role managing a pair of hedge funds, MSMB Capital Management and MSMB Healthcare. He ran the two funds between 2009 and 2014, prior to becoming the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals.

The government alleged that Shkreli defrauded investors and lied about the funds’ performance, and that he later stole more than $11 million from another company he founded, publicly traded Retrophin (RTRX), to pay back those investors.

Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, argued that because none of Shkreli’s hedge fund investors lost money, no crime was committed.

While Shkreli did not testify at his own trial, he was outspoken on social media and in front of reporters outside the courthouse, which led the judge to personally rebuke him and prosecutors to demand a gag order.

Shkreli became a lightning rod in 2015 when Turing bought the rights to sell Daraprim, a drug available since 1953 to treat a parasite infection, to $750 a pill. He subsequently defended the 5,000 percent price hike as “not greedy at all.”

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