Monday, 22 January, 2018

Shkreli jury selection expected to take a third day

Melinda Barton | 29 June, 2017, 08:58

"The defendant is the face of corporate greed in America", the man said. Shkreli is now being accused of illegally taking stock from Retrophin to pay back debts owed to investors in the hedge funds.

Shkreli faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

One woman, who pretended to wring Shkreli's neck, said, "I honestly don't think I could be impartial". That whopping increase drew the attention of everyone from the media to 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton; and the overall public sentiment was the same-Shkreli was a greedy person who put profits over people.

Martin Shkreli, the "pharma bro" who became infamous after greedily hiking up the price of a life-saving HIV/AIDS drug, is now on trial for a handful of charges related to fraud.

Some prospective jurors were dismissed because of "strong views on Martin Shkreli", Judge Kiyo Matsumoto said.

That Shkreli, the former head of Turing Pharmaceuticals, had bought an unreleased Wu-Tang Clan album, also didn't sit well with the potential jury of his peers.

More jurors cited the length of the trial, expected to last up to six weeks, as a hardship.

Newspapers like the Daily News and others reported on the range of comments from potential jurors in Shkreli's upcoming fraud trial in Brooklyn federal court.

Shkreli, who on social media has labeled lawmakers investigating his business practices "imbeciles", is charged with securities fraud, and is on bail following his 2015 arrest.

Shkreli's trial will cover an ongoing federal investigation into his previous company, Retrophin, which he founded and ran before heading Turing. His Twitter posts mocking a freelance journalist turned so creepy - one showed a fake photo of him canoodling with her - that his account was shut down. Brafman intends to argue in court that Shkreli lacked the requisite criminal intent to defraud investors and relied on his trusted counsel, Greebel. Shkreli's charges relate to his decisions to misrepresent the company's assets to investors in order to bolster share prices and sales.

Excused were those who had negative opinions of Shkreli that rendered them ineligible to serve, or who had family, work or medical issues that would make it hard or impossible to be a juror in the case.

Judge Matsumoto said the judicial system started with a presumption of innocence.

In April, he offered $40,000 to a Princeton University student who solved a mathematical proof.