A jury has found “Phama Bro” Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical CEO notorious for drastically increasing the price of a life-saving drug, guilty on three of eight counts in an unrelated federal securities fraud trial.
Shkreli was accused of funneling money from MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare investors to Retrophin, and prosecutors argued he then used money from Retrophin to pay them back.
Deliberations on the eight counts against him began on Monday.
In closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis called Shkreli “calculating.”
“Lying to people to get them to invest with you is fraud,” said the prosecutor. ”He knowingly lied over and over again to his investors to get their money and then to keep their money.”
“Who he really is is a con man who stole millions of dollars,” she said.
Kasulis gave a bank robbery analogy to the jury, arguing that if you rob a bank and then rob a second bank to pay the first bank back, you still robbed a bank.
“You can’t rob Peter to pay Paul. It doesn’t work that way,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if you paid people back years later after you’ve stolen their money and you’ve lost all their money. Those people are still victims of fraud.”
Kasulis emphatically stated that Shkreli is not above the law.
“It’s time for Martin Shkreli to be held accountable for his behavior, for his choices to lie and to deceive and to steal and to take peoples’ money without a second thought, without even a pause,” said Kasulis.
Shkreli’s defense attorney Benjamin Brafman told the jury the alleged defrauded investors ended up making profits because of Shkreli despite their accusations.
Brafman said in this case “Reasonable doubt is now circling the atmosphere like a bunch of drones.”
Brafman gave a cancer analogy to the jury, saying before an oncologist diagnoses someone with something as life altering cancer, the doctor feels for lumps and runs tests. “When you deliver a verdict of guilty, God forbid, that is forever,” he said.
Brafman encouraged the jurors to be “proud” to say “I gave Martin Shkreli a fair trial even though he is Martin Shkreli.”