‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli Convicted of Securities Fraud

Former pharmaceutical CEO was found guilty on three of eight counts


Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical CEO who shot to notoriety after hiking the price of a lifesaving AIDS drug by 5,000 percent overnight, was convicted Friday on federal charges that he deceived investors.

A Brooklyn, New York, jury found Shkreli guilty on three of eight counts after being charged with securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

He faces up to 20 years in prison but will likely receive a lesser punishment, given his lack of a criminal record.

According to the Washington Post, Shkreli shook his head when the first guilty verdict came down. His father, who was in the front row, held his head in his hands.

Prosecutors argued Shkreli repeatedly mislead investors, blowing up their money on bad stock picks, which forced him to then concoct a scheme to recover the millions he lost.

In his closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alixandra Smith said the 34-year-old told “lies upon lies.” Another prosecutor, Jacquelyn Kasulis went as far as calling him “a con man who stole millions.”

Shkreli’s lawyer argued his investors actually made money on their deals, adding that some admitted under oath that partnering with Shkreli was “the greatest investment I’ve ever made.”

Shkreli has insisted from the beginning that the government was out to get him because of his unpopular decision to hike the price of a lifesaving AIDS drug he acquired in 2014 from $13.50 to $750 per pill. The increase sparked backlash from lawmakers and the general public, earning Shkreli the nickname “Pharma bro.”

Shkreli also gained notoriety for trolling critics online, a move that got him kicked off Twitter. He seemed to revel in the negative attention, at one point boasting about buying a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album for $2 million.