'Pharma Bro' Shkreli Convicted of Federal Fraud

By George Khoury, Esq. on August 04, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Martin Shkreli, the infamous 'pharma bro' is in the news again, but thankfully this time it is not due to him intentionally trying to become more hated. Instead, Shkreli has just been convicted on federal fraud charges related to his business dealings.

His conviction should not come as a surprise, given that his lack of judgment is what propelled him to fame through infamy. However, with the current news-cycle being as short as it is these days with all the political turmoil, this news of Shkreli's conviction seemed to come out of nowhere.

Although the pharma bro's notoriety is linked to his raising of the price of a life saving medicine by 5,000 percent, his conviction was not related to that controversy. Instead, he misled investors on one of his funds.

Shkreli informed investors that his fund had a 35.77 percent return since its inception, when in reality, the fund lost 18 percent. Additionally, while he claimed the fund had $35 million in assets, it had less money than the Good Humor man on a bad day.

Will 'Pharma Bro' Shkreli See a Jail Cell?

Shkreli's lawyer is pushing for a sentence that does not include jail time, but rather just fines and probation. However, the conviction handed down, for securities fraud, is punishable by up to 20 years behind bars.

What the sentencing judge will do with Shkreli is currently unknown. Though it is not unheard of for wealthy individuals to skirt punishments, white collar criminals can often be held up as examples. Shkreli would make a fine example due to his high profile, and the fact that everything he does seems to be the action of an evil villain from a comic book.

Shkreli and his lawyers were actually pleased by one part of the ruling, which found that he had not committed wire fraud when he took money from one of his companies to pay back individuals associated with another one of his companies.

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