Biotech and Pharma

No verdict after fourth day of jury deliberations in Martin Shkreli's fraud trial

Key Points
  • Jurors have not sent out a note asking questions for two days.
  • Shkreli set up a live YouTube video feed of his empty Manhattan apartment while biding his time waiting for a verdict in Brooklyn.
  • The 34-year-old is accused of defrauding hedge-investors and his former drug company.
Elizabeth Williams | CNBC

Jurors in the Martin Shkreli securities fraud trial ended their fourth day of deliberations Thursday without reaching a verdict — and without asking any questions about the evidence or testimony.

The seven-woman, five-man jury so far has deliberated for about 32 hours this week in Brooklyn, New York, federal court.

During that time they have sent out just one note, on Tuesday, that asked substantive questions. The relative lack of notes, either with questions about the case or telling the judge about a deadlock between jurors, is unusual given the amount of time Shkreli's jury has spent deliberating.

Meanwhile, the 34-year-old Shkreli and his lawyers have been biding their time in the courthouse, where the trial began in late June. Shkreli has spent hours in the cafeteria with his father and some friends, in addition to chatting with his lawyers in the courtroom.

He also is believed to have started a new account on Twitter, the social media messaging site that banned him earlier this year to harassing a female journalist.

Jurors ask about fraud 'intent' at Martin Shkreli trial

The account's owner followed a number of reporters covering the trial earlier in the week, and tweeted multiple messages about the case. Those messages, as well as other comments on the Twitter feed, echoed Shkreli's well-known online voice, which is widely considered as troll-ish. On Thursday, the account owner abruptly blocked most of those reporters from reading the message feed.

Meanwhile, Shkreli was streaming a live video feed showing his empty Manhattan apartment on YouTube for hours, while he was in the Brooklyn courthouse.

At one point, more than 40 people had connected to the livestream, with several of them bickering in the related comment thread.

Shkreli is charged with defrauding more than a half-dozen people who invested in two hedge funds he ran. He is accused of lying about the performance of those funds, and then refusing to give them back investors' money when they asked for it.

Shkreli also is accused of looting the drug company he founded, Retrophin, out of stock and cash to pay back the hedge fund investors for their swindled money. Shkreli denies the charges, which are unrelated to his having notoriously raised of the price of an anti-parasite drug by more than 5,000 percent in 2015.

On Tuesday which refers to the value of cash and investments that a fund manager is responsible for.

Jurors wanted to know the definition of the term, and whether it referred to assets in "a particular fund being discussed or to all the assets managed by the portfolio manager/general partner."

Matsumoto said she could not give them a definition, since none was introduced through testimony or evidence during the trial.

As for the question of what Shkreli intended when he talked about assets under management to investors, the Securities and Exchange Commission and alleged co-conspirators, the judge told jurors it "is an issue in dispute for you to resolve."

Shkreli, repeatedly lied to investors about the size of his funds' assets, claiming to have tens of millions of dollars under management. In reality, neither fund had much more than $3 million at their respective peaks, and often much, much less than that, prosecutors said.

Jurors also had asked Matsumoto to clarify the term "fraudulent intent." Shkreli's lawyer Benjamin Brafman

The judge pointed jurors to the sections in the legal instructions she had read to them before they started their deliberations.

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