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Martin Shkreli’s former lawyer convicted of securities and wire fraud charges

December 28, 2017 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
In this Dec. 17, 2015, file courtroom sketch, from left, defense attorney Baruch White, pharmaceutical entrepreneur Martin Shkreli, defense attorney Jonathan Sack and co-defendant Evan Greebel appear in court in New York. Greebel, a lawyer accused of helping Shkreli cover up a financial fraud, was convicted of conspiracy charges on Wednesday by a federal jury in Brooklyn. Elizabeth Williams via AP, File
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The infamous “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli will have company in Club Fed as his former attorney Evan Greebel was convicted on Wednesday by a jury in Brooklyn’s federal court on two counts of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud following an 11-week trial.

A jury deliberated since Christmas before reaching a decision to convict following the trial in front of U.S. District Court Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto. Greebel was a former partner at the New York office of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, who served as outside counsel to Retrophin Inc, Shkreli’s former biopharmaceutical company.

“By helping Retrophin CEO Martin Shkreli steal millions of dollars and cover up Shkreli’s fraud, the defendant Evan Greebel betrayed the trust placed in him by Retrophin’s board of directors to represent the company’s best interests,” said acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Bridget M. Rohde.

“Today’s verdict sends a powerful message that this office, together with our law enforcement partners, will hold lawyers accountable when they use their legal expertise to facilitate the commission of crimes,” Rohde continued.

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From 2011 through 2014, prosecutors charged that Greebel conspired with Shkreli and others to use money from Retrophin to pay off defrauded investors in Shkreli’s hedge funds MSMB Capital Management LP and MSMB Healthcare Management LP.

According to prosecutors, Greebel negotiated and prepared “settlement” agreements with the defrauded investors. This caused Retrophin to pay off reimburse investors more than $2 million in losses even though there was no connection to the hedge funds. Greebel also used this method to settle liabilities owed by Shkreli and the hedge funds.

“Greebel’s conviction highlights the deliberate actions he took in conspiring with hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli to defraud investors,” said William F. Sweeney Jr., assistant director-in-charge for the FBI New York Field Office.

Greebel will face up to 20 years in prison at sentencing. Shkreli also faces up to 20 years in prison while he sits in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park.

Shkreli rose to infamy and earned the moniker “Pharma Bro” after he raised the price of HIV/AIDS medication more than 5,000 percent. He is also known for online trolling and his purchase of the rights to a Wu Tang Clan album, which he refuses to distribute. Jury selection at Shkreli’s trial was longer than usual, as it took a while to find an unbiased jury.

Shkreli was out on bail while he awaited sentencing, but that was eventually revoked by Judge Matsumoto after the Pharma Bro asked viewers of his Facebook livestream to get a lock of then presidential-candidate Hillary Clinton’s hair in exchange for $5,000.

Matsumoto said that the offer was, “a solicitation of an assault.” His defense that it was a joke was dismissed by the judge because “there’s a risk that somebody may take him up on it,” and his $5 million in bail was revoked.

 


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