Pharma bro Martin Shkreli convicted of securities fraud

Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli, who became notorious for jacking up the price an antibacterial drug 5,000%, has been convicted of securities fraud in New York.

Martin Shkreli has been called a lot of things. Pharma bro, CEO, price gouger and the most hated man in America. Now you can add convicted felon.

A New York jury convicted Shkreli on Friday of three of eight charges, including securities fraud, Bloomberg reports. He was released until sentencing, which has yet to be set. Shkreli, 34, faces up to 20 years in prison.

While he was convicted of securities fraud for misleading investors at pharma company Retrophin and two hedge funds, it was his bragging on Twitter about his 5,000% price hike for HIV-related drug Daraprim that created public awareness and made him the poster boy of bad pharma actors. That was while he was CEO of Turing Pharmaceutical, a company he formed after being asked to leave Retrophin. 

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Asked online in 2015 about why he would raise the price of the drug to $750 a pill from $13.50, he called former FierceBiotech editor—now Endpoints editor—John Carroll a “moron.”

The rest is history. He was charged later in the year and went to trial last month. In between he became the example that everyone used for how drug prices were getting out of control, helping spawn a public and political backlash that is still playing out.

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During his trial, his lawyers attempted to portray him as a misunderstood genius—a “mad scientist”—but former execs at Retrophin, the drug company where his crimes were committed, said he had run amok.  

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Former Retrophin Chairman Steven Richardson testified that Shkreli was running what could be described as a hedge fund within Retrophin, permitting employees to use investors’ money to trade stocks. He even created a commission structure for it.