With so much corruption going on elsewhere, it’s easy to forget once infamous “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli. Fortunately, Shkreli’s trial on charges of securities fraud begins today, hopefully jogging everyones memory about the slimy, criminal creep.
Shkreli, who became well known for price-gouging an HIV medication, was arrested in December of 2015 for securities fraud and a host of other charges unrelated to his infamy. Now, the trial for those crimes begins.
Shkreli’s trial will cover an ongoing federal investigation into his previous company, Retrophin, which he founded and ran before heading Turing. Shkreli’s charges relate to his decisions to misrepresent the company’s assets to investors in order to bolster share prices and sales.
Today, jury selection begins for the trial. The main issue the prosecution will face is finding jurors who don’t already have a bias against the well-known, much-reviled character.
In the time between his arrest in 2015 and his trial beginning today, Shkreli has continued operating, business as usual. After paying a $5 million bail, Shrekli continues to speak out online and has re-entered the news cycle multiple times since his initial arrest.
Shkreli was making his fortune long before he was creating his own infamy, but he was jolted to the public conscience in 2015 when it was discovered that he had purchased a rare but vital HIV medication and jacked the price up to unrealistic, should-be-criminal levels.
Unfortunately, holding medication hostage at outrageous prices doesn’t seem to be a criminal offense, and Shkreli and a host of copycat companies were able to carry out their diabolical plans with immunity.
Now, though, Shkreli could face real jail time for his crimes, if a jury finds him guilty of the charges.