Jury Deliberations Begin At Martin Shkreli Fraud Trial

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A federal jury in Brooklyn began deliberations Monday in the securities fraud trial of former pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli.

The judge instructed the jury most of Friday afternoon before sending jurors home for the weekend.

On Friday, the jury heard closing arguments by prosecutors accusing Shkreli of looting his own drug company to pay back disgruntled investors in two failed hedge funds he ran.

The defense insisted there were no victims because everyone got their original investments back and even made hefty profits.

Before his arrest in 2015 in the securities fraud case, Shkreli became notorious for purchasing the rights to a drug called Daraprim and promptly raising the price by 5,000 percent, from $13.50 to $750 per pill. The defendant, who didn’t testify, also came into the trial with a reputation for trolling his critics on social media to a degree that got him kicked off Twitter and earned him the moniker “Pharma Bro.”

Rather than lay low like his lawyers wanted, Shkreli got into the act, using Facebook to bash prosecutors and news organizations covering his case. In one recent post, he wrote, “My case is a silly witch hunt perpetrated by self-serving prosecutors. … Drain the swamp. Drain the sewer that is the (Department of Justice).”

Shkreli faces eight counts of securities fraud, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. If convicted of the most serious counts, he faces up to 20 years in prison but would likely receive far less time under sentencing guidelines.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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