Former drug company executive Martin Shkreli on Friday asked a judge to throw out part of his criminal conviction, a day after prosecutors sought to have him jailed until his sentencing.
In a motion filed in Brooklyn federal court, Shkreli’s lawyers said their client was convicted of conspiring to manipulate the stock price of his old company, Retrophin Inc, after a prosecutor improperly defined a key legal term during closing arguments.
The motion does not seek to overturn Shkreli’s conviction on two more serious counts of defrauding investors in his hedge funds. Those counts carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, though Shkreli is likely to serve far less time, in part because his investors did not lose money.
Instead, it challenges his conviction of conspiring to manipulate Retrophin’s stock price by telling employees what to do with their shares. Shkreli’s lawyers said a prosecutor falsely told jurors in closing arguments that Retrophin employees were automatically “affiliates” of Retrophin under federal securities law, which would restrict how they could trade their shares.
A representative for the prosecutors declined to comment.
The motion came the day after prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto to revoke Shkreli’s $5 million bail.
They said Shkreli could be a “danger to the community,” pointing to a Sept. 4 Facebook post in which he offered $5,000 to followers who could grab a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair during her upcoming book tour.
The post prompted an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, which is charged with protecting the former Democratic presidential candidate. Shkreli is an outspoken fan of President Donald Trump, a Republican.
“However inappropriate some of Mr. Shkreli’s postings may have been, we do not believe that he intended harm and do not believe that he poses a danger to the community,” Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said in an email.
Shkreli, 34, was convicted in August of defrauding investors of two hedge funds he ran, MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare, and of conspiring to manipulate Retrophin stock. He was acquitted of stealing from Retrophin to pay back investors.
Before the trial, Shkreli was best known for raising the price of anti-infection drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent in 2015 while he was chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals. The move sparked outrage by patients and U.S. lawmakers, earning him the nickname “pharma bro.”
(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Andrew Hay)
Dr. Fauci warns US is ‘knee-deep’ in first wave of coronavirus
The United States is still "knee-deep" in its first wave of coronavirus infections and must act immediately to tackle the recent surge, the country's top infectious diseases expert said Monday.
Anthony Fauci said the number of cases had never reached a satisfactory baseline before the current resurgence, which officials have warned risks overwhelming hospitals in the country's south and west.
"It's a serious situation that we have to address immediately," Fauci said in a web interview with National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins.
But Fauci added he did not strictly consider the ongoing rise in cases a "wave."
Companies owned by this billionaire GOP governor received up to $24 million in bailout loans
Companies owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and his family received up to $24 million from one of the federal government’s key coronavirus economic relief programs, according to data made public Monday.
At least six companies from Justice’s empire showed up on the list of Paycheck Protection Program aid recipients released by the Small Business Administration.
The Greenbrier Hotel Corporation, Justice’s firm that owns and operates the iconic luxury resort, received a loan of between $5 million and $10 million.
Trump friends and family cleared for millions in small business bailout
Businesses tied to President Donald Trump’s family and associates stand to receive as much as $21 million in government loans designed to shore up payroll expenses for companies struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to federal data released Monday.
A hydroponic lettuce farm backed by Trump’s eldest son, Donald Jr., applied for at least $150,000 in Small Business Administration funding. Albert Hazzouri, a dentist frequently spotted at Mar-a-Lago, asked for a similar amount. A hospital run by Maria Ryan, a close associate of Trump lawyer and former mayor Rudy Giuliani, requested more than $5 million. Several companies connected to the president’s son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, could get upward of $6 million.