Martin Shkreli appeared in New York federal court on Monday for the start of his securities fraud trial—and was quickly declared guilty of charges by a powerful jury.
Shkreli is facing eight counts of securities and wire fraud in connection with an alleged Ponzi-like scheme involving one of his former drug companies, Retrophin. But the former president is famous for something completely different: raising the price of a life-saving drug given to children and people with HIV / AIDS by more than 5,000 percent overnight as the president and founder of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Outrage over that unrelated motion spilled into the courtroom today and is expected to slow the progress of the fraud trial. In interviews with Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, potential judges called Shkreli “evil” and “the face of corporate greed in America,” reports CNBC. A powerful judge said, “It’s a snake.” Another admitted, “I have total hatred for the man.” A powerful judge convicted Shkreli of the high cost of EpiPens, which are manufactured by Mylan, a pharmaceutical company with no connection to Shkreli.
All the powerful judges who admit to being forgiven, just like many others who have only organized conflicts. At lunchtime, no judges were seated.
A colorful first day in court and a restrained progress can give a glimpse of what will come with a defendant seeking attention. We expect the trial to take about four to six weeks. But as Shkreli’s defense attorney Benjamin Brafman noted at an earlier pretrial hearing, Shkreli “march to the beat of a very unique drummer.”
Brafman has advised Shkreli to remain silent while awaiting trial—he was indicted and released on $5 million bail in December 2015. However, Shkreli has continued to speak to the media and work on social media. Earlier this year, he was banned from Twitter for insulting a journalist. In a recent live stream, Shkreli said he “therefore innocent, the jury, the judge, and the prosecutor will grant me pardon.”
Shkreli and his former lawyer Evan Greebel were indicted on charges of defrauding investors of hedge funds that Shkreli previously managed. They are also charged with misappropriating $11 million in assets from Shkreli’s former pharmaceutical company, Retrophin. Brafman decided to argue in court that Shkreli lacked the criminal convictions needed to defy investors and relied on his trusted lawyer, Greebel.