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NEWSLETTERS & ALERTS
Shkreli Securities Fraud - Not an 'Open and Shut Case'
[Photo: Screen Grab from 2015 Interview / BBC.com]
by Howard Haykin
A third day of deliberations in the criminal trial of Martin Shkreli, 34, has ended with no verdict from the jury. On Wednesday, the jury had no questions for the federal judge in Brooklyn, NY, after having asked two relevant and pointed questions the prior day:
- “Do assets under management refer to a particular fund being described, or to all assets managed by the portfolio manager/general partner?” They further asked for a legal definition of assets under management.
- An expansion upon or elaboration of the term “fraudulent intent” - a key to the defense’s arguments that Mr. Shkreli is innocent.
While Martin Shkreli - a.k.a. "Pharma Bro" - is best known for his time as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals when, in 2015, he raised the price of anti-infection drug Daraprim by 5,000%, this criminal case stems from Shkreli's career as a hedge fund manager. Federal prosecutor say that between 2009 and 2014, when Shkreli managed hedge funds MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare and drug company Retrophin Inc., he lied to MSMB investors, lost their money and paid them back with stock and cash taken from Retrophin without the approval of that company's directors.
Judge's Response to Questions. With regard to "assets under management" (AUM), the judge advised the jury that there is no legal definition for that term. According to the testimony of one hedge fund investor, Mr. Shkreli had said he had AUM ranging from $40 million to $50 million. Another witness testified that Mr. Shkreli claimed to have AUM of $35 million. The defense contends that, while MSMB Capital never had more than $3 million under management, the larger figures properly attributed to Shkreli included the separate accounts of a wealthy Texas investor.
With regard to "fraudulent intent," the judge said that "is an issue in dispute for you, the jury, to resolve."