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Martin Shkreli 'is his own worst enemy': Juror

Key Points
  • Martin Shkreli was convicted of three criminal counts but acquitted of five others.
  • He faces possible prison time at a yet to be determined date.
Martin Shkreli 'is his own worst enemy': Juror

Martin Shkreli "is his own worst enemy," says one of the jurors who convicted the "pharma bro" of securities fraud earlier this month.

The juror, Lois Pounds, also told CNBC on Monday that while she and some other jurors initially questioned whether Shkreli was mentally "competent" to be convicted of his crimes, she later came to conclude that "he knows what he's doing."

Pounds, a retired utility company employee who lives in Queens, New York, spoke shortly after the names of her and the 11 other jurors she served with in Brooklyn, New York, federal court were released to the media.

Shkreli, 34, was convicted earlier this month of three securities fraud-related counts but acquitted of five wire fraud-related counts.

At trial, prosecutors introduced extensive evidence that Shkreli had misled multiple investors into hedge funds he ran, hid the fact that he lost all or most of their money in the stock market, and then held them at bay for months or more as he scrambled to come up with their money elsewhere. Shkreli was accused of looting the drug company he founded, Retrophin, out of stock and cash to repay those investors.

"Martin Shkreli is his own worst enemy," Pounds said. "I say that because he could have just said to everyone, 'I lost the money.'"

"But his ego didn't allow him to do that, and that's why he's in the position he is."

"He has an extremely high ego," Pounds said.

But Pounds also said that in addition to Martin's pride, he also may have refused to admit that he lost the investors' money because he was actually trying to repay them.

"It doesn't excuse the fact that he did commit fraud," Pounds said.

Asked what her impressions were of Shkreli during the trial, she said "he smirked a lot" but "he just seemed indifferent" at other points. "He's a bit of a character," she said.

Pounds said that when deliberations began in late July, "some people thought that he was not very competent" mentally to be convicted of fraud. "I was one of them," she said.

But she later came to conclude, along with other jurors, that he was competent. "Although I think there's something a little bit off with him, I think he knows what he's doing," Pounds said.

Pounds said a stumbling block for jurors in convicting Shkreli of one of the counts was a requirement that they believe "that he had a purpose and intent to cause people to lose money."

"He didn't set out to do that," Pounds says she believes, which is why she and the other jurors acquitted him of that. "We went back and forth with that point a bit."

Pharma bro Martin Shkreli: 'I don't think I'm going to jail'

Pounds and her fellow jurors spent about a month and a half in court listening to evidence, and a week deliberating.

She said the deliberations were "very cordial,"

But, she added, "there was a difference of opinions originally" about whether Shkreli was guilty.

"We all got along well," Pounds said.

She said the jurors exchanged phone numbers before ending their service to discuss the possibility of having a reunion. "We might get together," Pounds said. Asked if Shkreli would be invited, Pounds laughed heartily and said "no."

Given what she knows about him now, asked if she would ever invest money with Shrkeli, pounds chuckled and said, "I don't have that kind of money."

But then she mused, "would I invest with him? At this point?"

"He's made a lot of people money, but they went through a lot of this point, no."

Shkreli faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced at a date yet to be determined, but he is likely to receive a sentence that is far less severe. Shkreli's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, has indicated that he will argue for a sentence that does not include any time incarcerated.