A jury reached a verdict last Friday against “the most hated man in America.” Martin Shkreli stood accused of eight criminal counts related to the funding of two hedge funds he managed as well as a biotech company.
Federal prosecutors believed that Shkreli ran his hedge funds like ponzi schemes. In doing so, he was accused of bilking investors out of millions of dollars, only to repay them with stock options and cash that he took from the biotech startup. Shkreli’s counsel claimed that their client had done nothing illegal and was merely the target of unsubstantiated claims ostensibly based on his role in increasing the price of an AIDS drug in 2015.
According to a cnbc.com report, the jury comprised of seven women and five men accepted some of the prosecutions contentions, it rejected other parts of their arguments. Because of this, the jury found Shkreli guilty on three counts of securities fraud, but reached not guilty verdicts on the other counts.
Both the prosecution and defense claimed victory. Prosecutors have a means of returning money to investors, and the defense can raise solid arguments to limit the amount of restitution eventually ordered.
No sentencing date has been ordered, given that Shkreli’s defense team will attempt to have the criminal convictions overturned. Also, the chances of Shkreli facing jail time are not particularly strong given his lack of a criminal record. Nevertheless, the story is an example of how important an experienced criminal defense attorney can be in white collar crime cases.