Jury de­lib­er­a­tions to start Mon­day in Shkreli fraud case

‘Phar­macy Bro’ calls trial ‘silly witch hunt’

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - MONEY - Kevin McCoy @km­c­coynyc USA TO­DAY

NEW YORK Ju­rors are set to be­gin weigh­ing Martin Shkreli’s fate in the fraud trial of the so­called “Phar­macy Bro” on Mon­day af­ter a pros­e­cu­tor ended the case by say­ing the busi­ness­man mis­tak­enly cal­cu­lated he was “above the law.”

The panel of seven women and five men opted to post­pone de­lib­er­a­tions through the week­end in a de­ci­sion Fri­day in Brook­lyn fed­eral court af­ter U.S. Dis­trict Court Judge Kiyo Mat­sumoto gave them fi­nal le­gal in­struc­tions.

End­ing ev­i­dence pre­sen­ta­tion and le­gal ar­gu­ments in the four-week pro­ceed­ing, As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney Jacque­lyn Ka­sulis told ju­rors the de­fense fed them a “fairy tale” por­trait of Shkreli as a hyper-in­tel­li­gent health care in­dus­try en­tre­pre­neur who never know­ingly de­ceived in­vestors in his com­pa­nies.

In re­sponse, Ka­sulis re­peated Shkreli’s blunt email re­sponse when an at­tor­ney warned that ac­quir­ing shares in one of the com­pa­nies at be­low­mar­ket prices could raise le­gal prob­lems: “f that.”

“It’s time, time for Martin Shkreli to be held re­spon­si­ble for his choices. His choices to lie, de­ceive and steal,” Ka­sulis said. “The last four weeks have ex­posed Martin Shkreli for who he re­ally is — a con man who stole mil­lions of dol­lars.”

The govern­ment had the fi­nal word af­ter de­fense at­tor­ney Ben­jamin Braf­man ended his clos­ing ar­gu­ments by re­mind­ing ju­rors that all of Shkreli’s in­vestors ul­ti­mately made money, thanks to the 34-year-old New Yorker’s ef­forts. “Who lost any­thing? No­body,” Braf­man said,

Crit­i­ciz­ing the pros­e­cu­tion case as a mix­ture of the­o­ries and le­gal ar­gu­ments, he said: “They can­not throw stuff against the wall and hope some of it sticks. It’s re­ally that sim­ple.”

Shkreli sat at rapt at­ten­tion for much of Braf­man’s ar­gu­ment. He pe­ri­od­i­cally looked down to­ward the de­fense ta­ble and fid­geted with his hair as Ka­sulis spoke.

The fre­quent so­cial me­dia pres­ence opted not to tes­tify in his own de­fense, avoid­ing be­ing ques­tioned by prose­cu­tors. How­ever, he vented against the Depart­ment of Jus­tice in a Face­book post­ing Thurs­day that re­ferred to Pres­i­dent Trump and his cam­paign slo­gan “Make Amer­ica Great Again.”

“My case is a silly witch hunt per­pe­trated by self-serv­ing prose­cu­tors. Thank­fully my amaz­ing at­tor­ney sent them back to ju­nior var­sity where they be­long,” Shkreli wrote. “Drain the swamp. Drain the sewer that is the DOJ. MAGA.”

In a sep­a­rate Face­book Live ap­pear­ance Thurs­day, Shkreli told fans: “Jury starts to­mor­row. I give them about 20 min­utes be­fore they free the boy.”

ROBERT DEUTSCH, USA TO­DAY

Martin Shkreli faces up to 20 years in prison if con­victed.

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