'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli convicted of U.S. securities fraud

Former drug company executive Martin Shkreli is surrounded by news cameras as he exits U.S. District Court following the second day of jury deliberations in his securities fraud trial in the Brooklyn borough of New York City U.S

While Shkreli was acquitted of on Retrophin-related count, he was convicted of conspiracy to commit securities fraud in connection with Retrophin.

A US jury convicted Martin Shkreli, the brash former drug company and hedge fund executive who drew fierce criticism for jacking up drug prices, of securities fraud on Friday in an unrelated case.

The split verdict reportedly confused Shkreli who looked over at his lawyer Marc Agnifilo each time a "not guilty" then a "guilty" verdict was read out by Judge Kiyo Matsumoto.

He was accused on an eight-count indictment for allegedly stealing $11 million in stock from his first pharmaceutical company Retrophin to pay off investors who lost money in two of his hedge funds.

But Shkreli did meet reporters outside the courthouse and said he was "delighted in many ways, " pointing out that had been exonerated on charges he considered more serious.

Shkreli, who was acquitted on five other charges, could face up to 20 years in prison, though, according to legal experts he was likely to be sentenced to much less. However, defendants in such cases rarely receive the maximum sentence.

He portrayed the verdict, which came on the fifth day of deliberations after a month-long trial, as a victory.

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.

That increase sparked outrage from U.S. lawmakers and patients, and earned Shkreli the nickname "Pharma bro".

Speaking after the verdict, Shkreli's lawyer acknowledged that his client needs to break his habit of trashing critics.

An hour after Shkreli's hearing, he livestreamed more of his reaction from his YouTube account, where he drank a beer and claimed that his sentence would be "close to nil". Under cross from the defense, he said his $1.25 million investment with Shkreli paid off, largely through an agreement in which Shkreli gave him shares in his drug company Retrophin Inc. Retrophin directors testified that they did not approve those agreements in advance.

Brafman said that while Shkreli's statements to investors were not always true, he made them in good faith.

The 34-year-old Shkreli is notorious for a price-gouging scandal and for his snide "Pharma Bro" persona on social media, but the case focused on allegations that he blew investors' money on bad stock picks before raiding his drug company of stock and cash to pay them back.

Related news: