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The Latest: Lawyer says Shkreli never bilked investors


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NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the trial of Martin Shkreli (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

A defense attorney at the securities fraud trial of former biotech CEO Martin Shkreli says his client didn't rip off investors.

Lawyer Ben Brafman told the jury in closing arguments on Thursday that wealthy investors were drawn to hedge funds run by Shkreli because they sensed he was a genius. Brafman said his client annoyed some of them but ultimately rewarded them by starting a drug company that doubled or tripled their money.

He said Shkreli "did not let them down."

Before his 2015 arrest, Shkreli was best known for jacking up the cost of a lifesaving drug and trolling his critics on the internet. The government has accused him of repeatedly lying to clients about how he was using their money.

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10:30 a.m.

A prosecutor at the securities fraud trial of Martin Shkreli says the former pharmaceutical CEO scammed investors in a pair of failed hedge funds.

Prosecutor Alixandra Smith told a jury in closing arguments on Thursday that Shkreli repeatedly lied to investors about how much money was in one of the funds as it was going under.

She said he assured investors that he was managing $40 million at a time when there as only a few hundred dollars in his firm's brokerage account.

In a recent Facebook post, the 34-year-old defendant calls the case "bogus."

Before his 2015 arrest, Shkreli was best known for jacking up the cost of a lifesaving drug and trolling his critics on the internet.

The defense will give its closing argument later in the day.

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