NEW YORK — Jurors weighing the fraud case against ‘Pharmacy Bro’ Martin Shkreli Tuesday asked for legal definitions of “fraudulent intent” and “assets under management.”
In a note sent during the second day of deliberations, the seven women and five men also asked whether the Shkreli assets under management in the case referred to a particular financial fund or all assets handled by the portfolio manager or general partner.
The jurors’ missive came on a day in which Shkreli had been reading a biography of famed billionaire investor Warren Buffett while awaiting the panel’s verdict. The panel members left for the night at 5:23 p.m. EDT without reaching a verdict.
Shkreli, a former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO, gained international notoriety in 2015 by ordering a 5,000% price hike for Daraprim, a company medicine used to treat a parasitic illness that typically afflicts those with the HIV virus or others with weakened immune systems.
However, Shkreli as yet has faced no legal ore regulatory action over the price hike. Instead, he is charged with defrauding investors in two hedge funds he once managed. He allegedly then repaid the investors with stock and funds improperly taken from Retrophin, another pharmaceutical company he previously headed.
The jurors’ questions focused on key issues from the criminal trial and appeared to prompt smiles from Shkreli and defense attorney Benjamin Brafman.
During closing legal arguments, Brafman told jurors Shkreli never knowingly intended to defraud anyone. “If Martin Shkreli says what he believes is true, I submit that’s an act of good faith,” said Brafman, who added, “and you must acquit.”
In a rebuttal argument, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis told the jury that “a belief that everything will work out “does not excuse fraud under the law.”
Prosecution evidence during the trial showed that Shkreli at varying times allegedly said his hedge funds managed $35 million or more while he tried to win investors’ funds. However, federal financial records showed the funds never held more than roughly $3 million.
U.S. District Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto asked prosecutors and defense lawyers to discuss the questions and try to reach agreement on written answers.
She brought the jurors back to her Brooklyn federal…