In the words of the BBC, Martin Shkreli was once the most hated man in America, due to his price gouging of a little-known drug, Daraprim, used to treat infections in AIDS patients and babies. But that wasn’t the reason the 34-year-old biopharmaceutical executive was convicted on fraud charges (specifically, securities and wire fraud charges). He pleaded not guilty to the charges of improperly using money from a company he founded to pay back hedge fund investors.
After five days of deliberations, the “Pharma Bro” was found guilty on three of eight charges, which were two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Shkreli in December 2015.
The conviction comes after a five-week trial, which saw Shkreli boasted that he was “so innocent,” and would receive an apology from prosecutors after the jury exonerated him. That wasn’t the case, though, and now Shkreli faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
The charges are all from Shkreli’s operation of MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare, two hedge funds he ran that led to his downfall. After the first fund collapsed in 2011, Shkreli continued to send statements to investors pretending the fund was still making money, even though it was entirely broke.
Then, Shkreli then started Retrophin, another firm that he used to pay back his MSMB investors.
Along with Retrophin, Shkreli also ran Turing Pharmaceutical, which is where Shkreli became so infamous. That was because the company boosted the price of the drug Daraprim, which provides a life-saving treatment for people with AIDS that have a toxoplasmosis infection called, from $13.50 to $750 per pill.
Martin Shkreli: America’s most hated man
Being the most hated man in America would be a bad thing for most people, but Shkreli embraced that villainous caricature of being a “morally bankrupt sociopath” and a “garbage monster.” His reputation comes from many things, including the Daraprim price gouging, but also behavior online.
Although, it was when he announced that he was raising the price of Daraprim to $750 a pill, an increase of 5000 percent, that he became the most hated man, not just in America but around the world. While other drugs companies have raised the price of niche products, few have ever so unapologetic about such a move, which resulted in the backlash.
Currently, Shkreli remains free on $5 million bail.