Martin Shkreli jury deliberations resume after he jokes about WH job
Martin Shkreli is set to begin his trial for securities fraud. Here is a look at his rise to notoriety.
NEW YORK — The jury in so-called “Pharmacy Bro” Martin Shkreli’s fraud jury went home Monday evening after spending a full day of deliberations without reaching a verdict.
But the waiting time wasn’t idly spent for Shkreli, who used a Facebook post to jokingly declare himself a contender to succeed ousted White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.
U.S. District Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto told the panel of seven women and five men to resume Tuesday morning after the jurors sent out a note just after 5 p.m. EDT asking how long they were expected to continue deliberating.
The note marked the jurors’ first communication with court officials since the opening day of their secret discussions began more than seven hours earlier. The panel resumed deliberations shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Hours before jury deliberations began a day earlier, Shkreli talked stocks in his weekly recap of his investing prowess.
With seemingly “What, me worry?” aplomb, Shkreli told a Sunday night online audience of Facebook Live fans that his portfolio of healthcare and tech stocks was up nearly 10% so far this year amid a continuing bull market.
The 34-year-old New Yorker appeared to refer to the trial near the end of his weekly stock recap when he told viewers he had a “big binary event coming up this week” — an occurrence with two potential outcomes, one good, and one bad.
“Wish me luck,” said Shkreli.
An eight-count federal conspiracy and fraud indictment accuses him of scamming investors in two healthcare-focused hedge funds he once ran. He then allegedly repaid the investors by looting funds and stock from Retrophin, a pharmaceutical company he previously served as CEO.
However, Shkreli is best known as the ex-Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO who imposed a 5000% price hike on a medication used to treat a parasitic illness that typically strikes those with the AIDS virus and others with weakened immune systems.
Throughout the trial, Shkreli has continued to use Facebook Live and YouTube broadcasts to air his views and discuss his investment strategy.
He used Sunday night’s session to tout his success in placing short bets against several health care stocks and criticize disappointing second-quarter earnings reported by social media company Twitter — which has banned him over alleged harassment of a freelance journalist and other reported transgressions.
“Twitter had a pretty terrible quarter,” said Shkreli. “Happy to see that, as a short seller and as a jilted user.”
Even as he touted the financial performance of his stock portfolio, Shkreli cautioned watching fans that the steady upward trend almost certainly wouldn’t last.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kevin McCoy on Twitter: @kmccoynyc
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