Supreme Court Rejects ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli’s Appeal of Fraud Conviction

Updated: 2019-11-18 20:50:17

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to take up the appeal case of Martin Shkreli, the disgraced former pharmaceutical honcho who was convicted for defrauding investors.

The high court’s decision on Nov. 18 effectively upholds Shkreli’s seven-year prison sentence and a fine of about $7.4 million.

Shkreli was convicted in 2017 of lying to investors about the performance of two failed hedge funds that he was running. He appealed to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, but the three-judge panel upheld the lower court’s decision.

The 36-year-old garnered public ire in 2015 when he raised the prices of a lifesaving drug called Daraprim that is used to treat parasitic infections from $13.50 to $750 per pill. This earned him the names “Pharma Bro” and “the most hated man in America” at the time.

Shkreli’s lawyer argued in the petition to the nation’s highest court that the instructions given to the jury at his trial were confusing (pdf).

In a statement to The Epoch Times, Shkreli’s lawyer Ben Brafman, said, “We are disappointed by the court’s decision and continue to maintain that Martin was never treated fairly by any of the courts that have reviewed his case. Unfortunately, there is often a price to pay for notoriety. It is never helpful.”

Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli pauses while speaking to the press after the jury issued a verdict in his case at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in the Brooklyn borough of New York City on Aug. 4, 2017. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

While in jail, Shkreli continued to attract controversy when he sued a man, Lee Yaffe, who testified at the 36-year-old’s criminal trial and is the son of an investor in his company. Shkreli’s suit filed in a federal court in September stems from a civil case where a judge ordered him to pay more than $420,000 covering a promissory note to Yaffe’s father George Yaffe.

The lawsuit claims that Lee had pressured Shkreli to sign the promissory note for $250,000 after George lost a $100,000 investment in one of Shkreli’s hedge funds in 2012. He is seeking an unspecified amount of damages.

In April, Shkreli was transferred to solitary confinement after he was accused of running his drug company from federal prison using a contraband smartphone, according to the Associated Press.

His phone use was first reported by The Wall Street Journal back in March, which said Shkreli continued to remain a shadow power of his company Phoenixus AG while in prison by posting to social media and even firing a company executive.

Shkreli was also widely criticized for several comments he made defending the drug price hike and his social media posts.

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