Jurors in the Martin Shkreli securities fraud trial did not reach a verdict on Tuesday, the second day of deliberations, but issued their first substantive jury note, in which they asked the court to define “fraudulent intent” and the investment term “assets under management.”
Whether or not Shkreli intended to defraud investors into two hedge funds he created, MSMB Capital Management and MSMB Healthcare, has been a central issue in the case against Shkreli, who is accused of eight counts that include conspiracy to commit securities fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Benjamin Brafman, Shkreli’s lead defense counsel, smiled as he read the note and showed it to his client and fellow defense team members Marc Agnifilo, Jacob Kaplan and Andrea Zellan.
Shkreli is accused of misappropriating $11 million in assets from Retrophin, another company he founded, to pay back his alleged victims in what prosecutors have described as an elaborate Ponzi scheme.
Throughout the five-week trial, Shkreli’s attorneys worked to blot out any sympathy jurors may have for the MSMB investors, repeatedly emphasizing that they all ultimately made a profit, and argued that their client acted in good faith.
With respect to the jury’s question about fraudulent intent, Eastern District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto told the jury that it should refer to the jury instructions she provided on July 28.
The matter of assets under management pertains to claims that Shkreli made to investors—some of the witnesses said that Shkreli told them he was marshaling between $30 million and $50 million in assets—that prosecutors say was a misrepresentation.
Matsumoto said there was no legal definition of assets under management provided in the case and that it is “an issue for you the jury to decide.”
Assistant U.S. attorneys Alixandra Smith, Jacquelyn Kasulis and Girish Srinivasan of the Eastern District U.S. Attorney’s Office are prosecuting the case.