If you haven’t yet heard, the most hated man in America has been in court for the past two weeks.
Yes, Martin Shkreli is back, grabbing the media’s attention once again, all for a mere eight counts of security and wire fraud which could put him behind bars for 20 years.
However, in true Shkreli form, it has so far been one weirdly interesting case, reports Washington Post:
He was personally rebuked by the judge for speaking to reporters about his case inside the Brooklyn courthouse and on the streets outside where jurors could potentially hear him.
He has mocked prosecutors on a live stream on his Facebook page and called them a “junior varsity” team to news outlets.
One day, he strolled into a room filled with reporters and made light of a witness who had just testified against him.
Even his attorney acknowledged him is an “odd duck”. But despite all this, legal experts say Shkreli is “putting on a novel defence that may resonate with jurors”.
You see, at the very heart of his legal team’s argument is the question: should Shkreli get a criminal conviction if his investors did not lose money?
Damn. But yes, yes he should, he committed a crime, no?
Although Shkreli became famous for ” increasing the price of a vital drug used by AIDS patients by 5,000 percent and then publicly lamenting that he didn’t raise it more” (hence being the most hated man in America), federal authorities arrested him because he also “lied to his investors about how he was using their cash”:
[P]rosecutors say [the] handsome payoffs were only possible because of an elaborate shell game in which Shkreli used Retrophin cash and assets to pay off discontented investors in his hedge fund, MSMB Capital. MSMB Capital sustained significant losses in 2011 after an investment by Shkreli went sour. After the faulty trade, one employee testified that Shkreli seemed depressed and sat at his desk with his hoodie up, not speaking.
“That day things became deathly quiet. . . . I definitely sensed something was wrong, but there was no talk,” testified Caroline Stewart, who conducted research for the hedge fund. “It was like somebody had died. In essence that somebody was the fund.”
Rather than tell his investors of the massive loss, Shkreli raised more money for another hedge fund and then started Retrophin, according to prosecutors. Then as pressure built from unhappy investors, Shkreli gave them Retrophin cash and stock.
He looted the company of more than $10 million, according to prosecutors. “Telling lies on top of lies — this is what that man, Martin Shkreli, did for years,” G. Karthik Srinivasan, an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District Court in Brooklyn, told jurors.
You see, none of the investors actually lost their money; some even made a massive profit:
Darren Blanton, who is known as the “cowboy venture capitalist” and who served as an adviser to President Trump’s transition team, met Shkreli for dinner and decided to entrust him with $1.25 million. Several years later, Blanton walked away with $200,000 in cash and Retrophin shares that he sold for $2.4 million. He has another $3 million worth in stock that he has yet to sell.
But, as the WashPo points out:
If [Shkreli] gets off, it would be an embarrassing loss for federal prosecutors struggling to prove that they can put away prominent Wall Street figures.
And James Goodnow, an attorney with Fennemore Craig, a corporate defence firm, agrees:
If Shkreli is acquitted, jaws will drop. Given the time, taxpayer money and resources devoted to this case, a defence win would be a huge embarrassment for prosecutors.
Shkreli, being the ostentatious attention seeker he is, live-streamed himself on Facebook claiming that he would “be back watching the markets regularly in a few weeks, during the day”:
We’ve got the prosecutors pretty freaked out.
The case is falling apart before their eyes, and they don’t know how it’s happening. Sad.
With that said, the world continues to watch on, menacing eyes filled with loathing for the most hated man in America.
[imagesource: Twitter / Edward The Guide] I was fortunate enough to spend some time in ...
[imagesource: Economic Times] Apple's new iOS 15 software is available to download on y...
[imagesource: Wits University] South Africa is officially nearing the end of the third ...
[imagesource: Netflix] Zach Galifianakis is an excruciatingly awkward host who intervie...
[imagesource: YouTube / VICE] Nazis aren't very popular with the general public. The...