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Jury Selection Begins In Martin Shkreli Fraud Case

Seth Wenig
Former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, left, arrives to federal court with his attorney Benjamin Brafman in New York on Monday.

Jury selection has begun for the pharmaceutical businessman Martin Shkreli. He is defending charges that he stole money from one of his companies to cover the lies that he made to investors of another company he owns. Despite a possible 20 years in prison, Shkreli has not kept quiet.

Shkerli’s notoriety stems from raising the price of a lifesaving medicine by 5,000 percent – also harassing journalists, provoking conspiracy theories, and flaunting expensive purchases. None of which he is on trial for.

Instead, federal prosecutors say he ran two Ponzi-like schemes in order to settle personal and business debts. Despite the accusations, he has kept a steady stream of taunting and profane social media posts.

Columbia University Law Professor John Coffee says, “You’re seeing a defendant who is using this as his own personal theater. It may be therapeutic, but it could be very expensive if he is convicted.”

Shkeri’s legal team tried unsuccessfully to bar the media from covering the trial for fear it would taint the jury’s verdict.  

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.