Sheepshead Bay’s least-favorite son — “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli — was convicted of fraud on Aug. 4, but the “Most Hated Man in America” still left the Brooklyn federal courthouse smirking, since the 12-person jury threw out most of the eight charges, including the most damning.
“This was a witch hunt of epic proportions, and maybe they found one or two broomsticks, but at the end of the day, we’ve been acquitted of the most important charges in this case and I’m delighted to report that,” Shkreli said outside the Cadman Plaza courthouse on Friday afternoon.
The former hedge-fund manager gained infamy, and several of his nicknames, when he jacked up the price of a drug for AIDS patients from $13.50 to $750 per pill overnight in 2015, trolled a journalist and the popular hip-hop group Wu Tang Clan on social media, and made plenty of other crude comments across social media — none of which he was on trial for.
Prosecutors charged Shkreli with eight counts of fraud for a Ponzi-like scheme, and the case kicked off at the end of June. The seven-woman and five-man jury began deliberating on July 31, and after asking the judge for just a few clarifications on the law on Aug. 1, they were relatively quiet until reaching the verdict.
The federal jury, kept anonymous, convicted the Sheepshead Bay-born-and-bred 34-year-old on three of the eight fraud counts — he was free to walk on $5 million bond, and faces up to 20 years in prison, but no sentencing date has been set yet, and he’s suspected to walk away with a much lighter sentence.
Shkreli took to his live YouTube channel just about an hour after leaving court — with a cold bottle of IPA in hand — talking out his case with viewers. He’s delighted, he told them, but still hopes he doesn’t have to spend much time in the slammer.
“No jail time would be definitely ideal,” said Shkreli, who also said he’s still extremely wealthy but doesn’t think he wants to manage a hedge fund again.
And Shkreli isn’t buying his title as the “Most Hated Man in America” — as he told one of the viewers who asked him if he believed he still fits the name.
“I don’t think it’s me, if it was me I’d think I have a few black eyes,” said Shkreli, who famously auctioned off a chance to punch him in the face to raise money for the family of a recently deceased friend.
The government is still pleased with the jury’s verdict.
“Justice has been served,” said Acting United States Attorney Bridget Rohde.
©2017 Community News Group
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