Martin Shkreli, who became a national symbol of pharmaceutical company villainy after massively increasing the price of a drug, has been convicted on securities fraud charges, according to CNBC. He’s now facing years in prison.
Shkreli’s trial in federal court focused on prosecutors’ claims that he misled investors who had placed money into two hedge funds he ran. After the operations went south, prosecutors said Shkreli misused funds from another drug company he led, called Retrophin, to pay off the hedge fund investors. He faced eight charges, but according to CNBC, was convicted of three: two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
The charges did not tie into the incidents that first brought Shkreli infamy. As CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, Shkreli raised the price of a drug used by some AIDS patients from $13.50 per pill to $750, resulting in a public outcry that reverberated around the country. Shkreli was eventually brought before Congress to testify, although he invoked the Fifth Amendment.
Shkreli received another wave of attention after it was revealed that he had paid $2 million to purchase the Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, only one copy of which was released.
Through it all, Shkreli seemed to soak up the public’s attention, as he teasingly suggested he would eventually play the album publicly, and for some time, released updates about the trial. As The New York Times notes, the judge on the case eventually had to order Shkreli to stop discussing the case in the court house, after an incident where he talked about it with reporters.