Saturday, August 05, 2017

Crooked Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli Found Guilty-- Could Face Decades In Prison


Prison is a horrible place. But there should be more criminals like Martin Shkreli put away to contemplate their crimes. I'm a big law-and-order guy and for his type of crime I'd throw away the key until I was sure the mental illness that is at the base of his anti-social behavior was 100% sure and that he was no longer a threat to society. Friday, as you know by now, he was found guilty of 2 fraud charges and one conspiracy charge for defrauding his hedge fund investors and a pharmaceutical company. He could be given as many as 45 years (a stretch) in prison, although someone just told me he could also wind up with house arrest.
The conviction, even as a mixed verdict, was a major defeat for the divisive Mr. Shkreli, who said before the trial that he was “so innocent” that the judge, jury and prosecutors would apologize to him afterward.

Mr. Shkreli, 34, was acquitted of the count that potentially carried the most weight for sentencing: count seven, which charged him with defrauding Retrophin by creating sham consulting agreements and unauthorized settlement agreements. That charge was associated with the biggest financial loss, which judges take into account when deciding on sentences in fraud cases.

Bridget Rohde, the acting United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, the federal prosecutors’ office in Brooklyn, said she was “gratified” with the verdict. “Our work is not done: Mr. Shkreli remains to be sentenced, and there’s a co-defendant in the case,” she said, referring to Evan Greebel, Mr. Shkreli’s onetime lawyer, who is scheduled to be tried in the fall.

...The case has featured a number of strange twists. Judge Matsumoto ordered Mr. Shkreli to stop talking in and around the courthouse after he dropped into a room full of reporters and began offering his thoughts on the trial. Victims, usually the most sympathetic witnesses in a trial, were undercut here by the defense as rich and out of touch; when the prosecution tried to limit the victims it would call to testify, the defense urged it to call more. The investors all made money-- by the defense’s tally, more than triple what they invested.

And it was the defense bringing in personal claims about their client’s life, from his sexual orientation to how frequently he brushed his teeth to his anxiety and depression, often over government objection. And while defendants usually keep a low profile during a federal trial, Mr. Shkreli livestreamed after court many days.

Mr. Shkreli seemed to take pains to appear that he was not taking the trial very seriously. During the prosecution’s rebuttal argument, the last thing the jury would hear from either side, he read a book. He popped into a room full of reporters to denounce the prosecution as “junior varsity,” leading Judge Matsumoto to issue an order preventing Mr. Shkreli from talking in and around the courthouse.

He became widely known after raising the price of a drug called Daraprim to $750 a pill from $13.50 overnight. He courted controversy, defending the price increase, then bragging that he had bought the sole copy of a Wu-Tang Clan album for a reported $1 million. The case against him, however, has nothing to do with the Daraprim pricing, and the federal investigation into Mr. Shkreli’s hedge fund and Retrophin work began well before the other controversies.
Meanwhile, he's free on bail pending sentencing. After leaving the courthouse he immediately ran to a gaggle of reporters and told them the trial "a witch hunt of epic proportions" and insisted he had just had a victory because he was found not guilty on the most serious charge, looting his pharmaceutical company. Before his twitter account was suspended yesterday afternoon, he tweeted this:

Then he took his bathos-filled I'm-a-victim-circus to YouTube:

Now that the criminal trial is over, Shkreli will now faces civil charges filed by the SEC (and one filed against him by the company he stole stock and cash from, Retrophin. (He's also suing them for firing him after he was caught stealing.)



At 8:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the revolution ever comes and heads are mounted on pikes, his should be among them.

He's the worst kind of despicable, but among the vilest, he's only boilerplate. He only gouged. United health and Aetna both denied me a surgery I needed to save money. I eventually got it but the misery they forced upon me for many years I can never forgive. For others, their denials were lethal.
We need MFA if for nothing else to make United Health and Aetna disappear forever.

When heads are mounted, the board members of both should also be among them.

At 6:03 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

There needs to be much stronger laws against white collar crime. All these corporate head honchos skate and get huge golden parachutes while their companies pay fines. Just look at Trump, who paid $10,000,000 in fines for money laundering at his casinos. He continues to smirk at us all, as does Shkreli. These sociopathic crooks are now running our country and our democracy into the ground. Our political system has fallen apart. Money rules all.

At 6:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hone, don't ever forget bankers.


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