Martin Shkreli, once dubbed “the most hated man in America,” is now a convicted felon.
Shkreli, notorious for raising the price of a potentially life-saving drug by 5,000 percent, was found guilty Friday of defrauding investors in two hedge funds and in Retrophin Inc., a pharmaceutical company he co-founded.
He is now almost certain to go to prison. Shkreli faces as long as 20 years behind bars, although he’s likely to serve much less. It remains to be seen whether the judge in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, allows him to return home, where he’s spent hours each day on social media, or ships him off to jail right away to await sentencing later this year.
U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto wished Shkreli well after the verdict was read and said she would see him soon. She didn’t set a date for sentencing.
In the end, it was Shkreli’s lies to his investors that cost him his freedom, not his 2015 decision to jack up the price of an anti-parasitic drug. Prosecutors said Shkreli, 34, misled clients about the performance of his failing hedge funds, secretly used their money to start Retrophin, and then took $11 million from the drug-development company to repay them.
Shkreli was convicted of three of eight charges, including securities fraud.
The verdict came on the fifth day of deliberations after a trial that sometimes resembled a circus. Shkreli’s notoriety for boosting the price of Daraprim made jury selection a time-consuming process as dozens of prospective jurors expressed contempt for him. One called him a “snake,” and another said he was “the face of corporate greed.” Neither was selected for the panel.
Hailed as “Pharma Bro” by his online supporters, Shkreli has won a following for sharing much of his life on the Internet, broadcasting live from his Manhattan apartment. In the evenings after a long day in court, he could be seen chatting with his followers, petting his cat, combing his hair and playing chess. While he was kicked off Twitter for harassing a female journalist, he took to Facebook during the monthlong trial to rail against prosecutors.
A courthouse tirade got Shkreli reprimanded by the judge. After telling reporters during a lunch break that the prosecutors in Brooklyn were the “junior varsity,” Matsumoto ordered him to stop talking about the case in and around the building.
Prosecutors presented more than a dozen witnesses, including investors who said they had trouble recovering…