Martin Shkreli, who rose to fame infamy upon purchasing a copy of rare Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, in addition to raising the price of an AIDS drug, has been convicted of three of eight counts of securities fraud. The former pharmaceutical CEO now faces up to 20 years in prison, albeit he is likely to receive a considerably shorter sentence.
In reference to his sentencing, of which he was notably happy to be exonerated on chargers he considered more serious, Shkreli stated, “We’re delighted in many ways.”
He then went on to add, however, “This was a witch hunt of epic proportions. They may have found some broomsticks.”
To provide his take on the case, James Goodnow, an attorney with corporate defense firm Fennemore Craig, noted, “Rarely has a white-collar criminal defendant evoked hatred and scorn from public in the way Shkreli has. Shkreli’s willingness to lie, step on people, flaunt his wealth and look down on others made him a villain that many wanted to see go down in flames.”
Prosecutors ultimately argued that Shkreli was untruthful to investors in two hedge funds and the pharmaceutical company Retrophin, of which he founded.
“Just because the defendant got lucky and Retrophin became a success years later” that doesn’t excuse fraud, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn M. Kasulis told the jury. “Martin Shkreli doesn’t think the rules doesn’t apply to him, that the law doesn’t apply to him unfortunately for him, it does.”
Regardless, legal experts have insisted that Shkreli is unlikely to serve the brunt of what could be up to 20 years.
“He’s likely going to second guess his decision to not plea and he’ll have a long time to think about it,” said David Chase, a former prosecutor for the Securities and Exchange Commission. “Some offers from the government are no brainers that make sense and others aren’t. Some defendants feel they are better off rolling the dice.”