Most recent news has had us relying on the “kick in democracy’s ass” tag, but today, for the first time in a while, we’re able to break out the old “schadenfreude” label: The Associated Press reports that Martin Shkreli, a man only slightly less popular than Trump, has been convicted of securities fraud.
Now, public opinion of the so-called “Pharma Bro” has been inversely proportional to the price of the HIV treatment drugs he patented for quite some time. This is a guy who’s bragged about putting life-saving medication beyond the reach of most people, even as he prepares to spin the rarest of Wu-Tang albums (before the Feds get it, anyway). This and his smarmy ubiquity made it nearly impossible to assemble a jury of his peers, but there were apparently enough people in Brooklyn who believed in their civic duty enough to sit in a courtroom with Shkreli.
After five days of deliberations, that jury has returned a guilty verdict against Shkreli on three of the eight counts brought against him for securities fraud, conspiracy to commit said fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Shkreli had been accused of misleading his investors and telling “lies upon lies,” a phrase that we can see ending up on his mixtape. In true “Pharma Bro” form, Shkreli bragged about having millions of dollars in liquid assets, when he only had “$300 in the bank,” one Assistant U.S. Attorney said in closing arguments, while another AUSA called him a “con man,” plain and simple.
But, as the AP reports it, some of the witnesses called upon to testify had to admit that Shkreli made them richer even with his “horrible stock picks” and “schemes” cooked up to cover up those errors in judgment. So his attorney argued that “nobody” had really lost anything in the matter, which ultimately didn’t sway the jury. There’s no word on when sentencing will occur, or if that recent gag order will prevent Shkreli from caterwauling to the press.