Martin Shkreli, the embattled pharmaceutical CEO, was convicted Friday on federal charges that he deceived investors through failed hedge funds.
The jury deliberated for five days before finding Shkreli guilty on three of eight counts Friday afternoon. The so-called “Pharma Bro” has been charged with securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Shkreli, known for hiking up the price of a life-saving drug, was accused of hiding from investors the fact that he lost millions of dollars and then made them the victim of a scheme to pay them back with worthless stock in a startup drug company.
His defense argued in court that the investors didn’t actually lose anything. In fact, attorney Ben Brafman said, some witnesses even had to admit that it was “the greatest investment” they have ever made.
Notorious for his interactions on social media, Shkreli didn’t hide from the spotlight during the trial. He remained active on his Facebook page, posting podcasts and calling out the prosecution in his case. He also appears to have made a new Twitter account where he’s discussed female reporters and retweeted messages of support.
“My case is a silly witch hunt perpetuated by self-serving prosecutors,” Shkreli posted on Facebook last month. “Thankfully my amazing attorney sent them back to junior varsity where they belong. Drain the swamp. Drain the sewer that is the [Department of Justice].”
Shkreli, 34, pleaded not guilty and didn’t testify during the trial. Shkreli faces up to 20 years in prison.
Here’s a look at what’s happened in Shkreli’s life leading up to the trial.
Shkreli first became a contentious household name at the end of 2015 when he was the chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals.
His company drastically jacked up the price of a potentially lifesaving drug, Daraprim, from $ 13.50 to $ 750 per pill. Turing acquired Daraprim in August 2015.
The drug is the only approved treatment for toxoplasmosis, an infection which is especially risky for pregnant women, people with AIDS and cancer patients.
Shkreli defended the price hike, contending that it was necessary in order for his pharmaceutical company to make a profit, spend money on research and keep up with operational costs.
“If there was a company that was selling an Aston Martin at the price of a bicycle, and we buy that company and we ask to charge Toyota prices, I don’t think that should be a crime,” Shkreli told CBS This Morning.
Then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton encouraged Shkreli to “do the right thing” and lower the cost of the drug to its original price in a Facebook post.
“There are other drug companies gouging Americans with higher prices than they charge other people around the world,” Clinton wrote.
In a separate post, Clinton promised to hold accountable anyone who is “price gouging American families and jacking up costs for no good reason.”
Donald Trump called Shkreli a “spoiled brat.”
Shkreli was arrested on securities fraud and wire fraud charges — unrelated to the rising drug price while he headed Turing Pharmaceuticals — in December 2015.
Prosecutors said that when Shkreli ran a different pharmaceutical company, Retrophin, he would use the company’s cash and stock to pay back hedge fund investors for money that Shkreli lost. These actions allegedly occurred between 2009 and 2014, according to court documents.
Shkreli “engaged in multiple schemes to ensnare investors through a web of lies and deceit,” U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said at the time of Shkreli’s arrest.
Shkreli was released on a $ 5 million bail.
The day of his arrest, KaloBios Pharmaceuticals terminated Shkreli as its CEO. The company announced that the young pharmaceutical executive also had resigned from its board of directors.
Shkreli refused to testify in front of Congress — instead invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination while he at times smirked at lawmakers who peppered him with questions about why he so drastically raised the price of Daraprim.
“Drug company executives are lining their pockets at the expense of some of the most vulnerable families in our nation,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said during the hearing. “It’s not funny, Mr. Shkreli. People are dying and they’re getting sicker and sicker.”
Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Ga., a pharmacist, said he was “disgusted” by price-hiking drug companies.
After Clinton left a 9/11 memorial service due to illness, Shkreli tracked down the presidential candidate to shout at her a question.
“Why are you so sick?” Shkreli shouted at Clinton as she left her daughter’s apartment.
“I enjoyed screaming ‘why are you so sick’ and ‘go trump’ at @HillaryClinton. Get well soon bae!” he tweeted later.
This same month, Shkreli raffled off a chance to punch him in the face.
After consistently harassing a female journalist on Twitter, Shkreli was eventually banned from the social media site.
Shkreli changed his Twitter page background to images of freelance journalist Lauren Duca and photoshopped himself over her husband in one photo.
“How is this allowed,” Duca tweeted along with a screenshot of Shkreli’s account.
Shkreli announced in May that he was permanently banned from Twitter. However, he’s made additional accounts since.
Brooklyn U.S. District Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto ruled that Shkreli and his former lawyer be granted separate trials.
Both Evan Greebel and Shkreli requested separate trials and both have pleaded not guilty. Greebel is charged with one count of conspiracy for allegedly helping Shkreli.
As Greebel has called Shkreli a serial liar, Matsumoto said that trying the two men together “would present a serious risk that Shkreli will not receive a constitutionally fair trial.”
Greebel’s trial will be later this year.
Shkreli’s trial began on June 26 and he faces up to 20 years in prison.
Several potential jurors told the New York judge they can’t be fair toward Shkreli.
One woman said that she knew the former executive as “the most hated man in America” for his price gouging. The judge dismissed her and several other potential jurors after they made negative comments about Shkreli during jury selection on Monday.
Despite advice from his lawyers Shkreli didn’t lay low ahead of the trial. He’s been active on social media, especially YouTube and Facebook.
Shkreli “travels to the beat of a very unique drummer,” exasperated-sounding defense attorney Benjamin Brafman said at a pretrial hearing this month.
A Brooklyn jury found Shkreli guilty on three counts on August 4.
The jury deliberated for five days before reaching a verdict.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.