Disgraced pharma CEO Martin Shkreli convicted of fraud | News | DW | 04.08.2017
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Disgraced pharma CEO Martin Shkreli convicted of fraud

Shkreli, notorious for massively raising the price of a life-saving drug, has been found guilty of deceiving investors in a pair of hedge funds. He was arrested on embezzlement charges in 2015.

A US court in Brooklyn on Friday convicted the former drug company executive Martin Shkreli on two counts of security fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud in a month-long, high-profile trial.

Read more:  'Pharma bro' Shkreli's trial begins as ex-pharma CEO faces allegations of cheating investors

Federal prosecutors had accused Shkreli of defrauding investors in his hedge funds MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare and of using misappropriated money and stock from his old drug company, Retrophin Inc, to pay them back millions in losses. The charges went back to the period between 2009 and 2014, when he was Retrophin CEO.

Shkreli, 34, had told "lies upon lies," Assistant US Attorney Alixandra Smith told the court in closing arguments, while another prosecutor, Jacquelyn Kasulis, described him as "a con man who stole millions."

Notorious price-gouging

However, the court's decision was difficult to reach in view of the fact that some investors testified that they had indeed become richer through Shkreli.

"Who lost anything? Nobody," said Ben Brafman, the defense attorney, in his closing argument.

Shkreli was cleared on five other conspiracy counts.

Even before the trial, Shkreli had attained a degree of notoriety by raising the price of the anti-infection drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent in 2015 as chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals. His behavior led to his receiving the nickname "Pharma bro," with many people seeing him as the embodiment of corporate greed.

He was also known for his sometimes hours-long live streams on YouTube that often showed him engaged in mundane occupations such as petting his cat, although he also gave financial and chemistry lessons in the videos.

tj/gsw (AP, Reuters, afp)

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