Politics

Supreme Court denies 'pharma bro' Martin Shkreli's appeal request

Key Points
  • The Supreme Court denied "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli's request that it hear an appeal of his securities fraud conviction.
  • Shkreli gained infamy in 2015 when his drug firm Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of the medication Daraprim by more than 5,000%.
  • Shkreli also was notorious for feuding with various people on social media, including Hillary Clinton and members of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Ex-pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli arrives at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York last June.
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The Supreme Court on Monday denied notorious "pharma bro" Martin Shkreli's request to hear an appeal of his criminal conviction for securities fraud.

The rejection means that Shkreli, 36, will have to serve out the remainder of his seven-year prison term, and forfeit more than $6.4 million.

Shkrekli's lawyer Benjamin Brafman told CNBC, "We are disappointed by the court's decision and continue to maintain that Martin was never treated fairly by any of the courts that have reviewed his case."

"Unfortunately, there is often a price to pay for notoriety. It is never helpful," Brafman said.

John Marzulli, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, which prosecuted Shkreli, declined to comment.

Shkreli gained infamy in 2015 when as CEO of the drug firm then known as Turing Pharmaceuticals he raised the price of the medication Daraprim by more than 5,000%. The drug is used to treat a parasitic condition found in infants, pregnant women and people with HIV.

The price hike catalyzed a national argument over the costs of prescription drugs. Shkreli then escalated that argument with a series of controversial statements defending the increase, his smug appearance before a congressional committee, and his social media feuds with people such as Hillary Clinton and members of the Wu-Tang Clan.

He was convicted in 2017 of two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud after a trial in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. The case was not related to Daraprim or Turing Pharmaceuticals.

At his trial, prosecutors introduced evidence that he had repeatedly lied to investors about the financial performance of two hedge funds that he ran, and then used money invested in those funds to help start his first pharmaceuticals company, Retrophin.

Shkreli appealed his conviction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, arguing that his trial judge's instructions to the jury were incorrect and confusing. That court denied the appeal in July, at which point Shkreli filed his last-ditch effort to get the Supreme Court to take the case.

While thousands of petitions for appeal are filed in criminal cases each year with the Supreme Court, typically fewer than 3% are accepted.

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