Pharma Bro’s days as a Twitter troll may be numbered: a federal jury found Martin Shkreli guilty on Friday of three counts of securities fraud related to the questionable tactics he used to convince hedge fund investors to give him millions of dollars. He was acquitted of five related counts.
The month-long trial came to an end on Friday afternoon with a split verdict that saw the seven-woman, five-man jury side with the prosecution on some arguments but reject other allegations, CNBC reported. There was some confusion when Judge Kiyo Matsumoto followed up a set of “not guilty” announcements with a “guilty” one, prompting Shkreli to give a puzzled look to his attorneys.
No sentencing date has been determined, as the prosecution and the defense still have to determine how much money Shkreli should pay the court as part of his conviction, if any. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, but his lack of a criminal record and the nature of his crimes make it likely that his punishment will be far less severe.
“I think we are delighted in many ways,” Pharma Bro told reporters outside the courthouse after hearing the verdict. “This was a witch hunt of epic proportions and maybe they found one or two broomsticks but at the end of the day we’ve been acquitted of the most important charges in this case.”
The prosecutors also celebrated the outcome. “We’re gratified as we stand here today at the jury’s verdict,” said acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde. “Justice has been served.”
In true Shkreli fashion, the notorious social media supervillain immediately created a new Twitter account – which is very likely to get banned sooner rather than later, if the trend holds – and began livestreaming on YouTube.
While Shkreli is notorious for raising the price of the drug Daraprim from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill when he was CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, the charges were not related to that incident. Instead, Shkreli was found guilty of misleading investors to accumulate a large sum of money, quickly losing it, and brushing off investors when they asked for a refund.