A federal jury in Brooklyn, N.Y., has convicted former pharmaceutical executive and “pharma-bro” Martin Shkreli of securities fraud.
He was found guilty Friday on three counts — two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud — out of a total of eight counts. Shkreli is best known for increasing the price of a life-saving drug for AIDS patients by 5,000 percent, from $13.50 to $750 per pill, when he was head of Turing Pharmaceuticals.
Shkreli has not yet been sentenced.
As NPR’s Laurel Wamsley has written about the case:
“Before he made headlines as the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, Shkreli founded a pharmaceutical company, Retrophin, and a pair of hedge funds, MSMB Capital Management and MSMB Healthcare. Prosecutors say he committed a series of frauds while managing the funds between October 2009 and March 2014.
“The SEC’s complaint alleges ‘widespread fraudulent conduct’ by Shkreli — a series of misrepresentations and omissions, and of taking money from one fund to cover claims against the other. According to the complaint, he also issued stock and made cash payments from Retrophin (disguised as payments for consulting services) to disgruntled investors in the hedge funds who were threatening to sue.
“Prosecutors say Shkreli misled investors about the size and performance of MSMB Capital Management, claiming that its returns were ‘+35.77% since inception’ — when the fund had actually lost 18 percent. In another instance, he claimed the fund had $35 million in assets, when in fact it had less than $1,000 in assets.”
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