In a swift 3-0 vote Thursday, a panel of judges in a New York federal appeals court upheld the August 2017 conviction of Martin Shkreli. The infamous ex-pharmaceutical CEO is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for fraud stemming from what prosecutors had described as a Ponzi-like scheme.
Shkreli, 36, must continue to serve his sentence and also still forfeit more than $7.3 million in assets, the judges affirmed.
The judges’ ruling came just three weeks after hearing arguments in the appeal—rather than the normal period of months, Bloomberg notes. The ruling was also an unusually short seven pages.
In it, the panel rejected Shkreli’s argument that the judge in his trial, US District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, confused jurors with the wording of some of their instructions on how to deliberate the case.
“The instruction given here correctly stated the law,” the panel said in its decision. “As such, we disagree with Shkreli that exclusion of additional language describing an element not required for the charged crime constituted a prejudicial error.”
Shkreli was initially indicted on securities and wire fraud charges in December 2015. Prosecutors argued that he defrauded investors of two hedge funds he managed and siphoned millions of dollars from a pharmaceutical company he founded, Retrophin, to cover loses in the funds.
At the time of his indictment, Shkreli was already notorious for his actions as founder and CEO of another pharmaceutical company, Turing. In September 2015, Shkreli abruptly raised the price of a decades-old anti-parasitic drug, Daraprim, from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill—a more than 5,000% price hike. The move transformed the young executive into the face of pharmaceutical greed and increased public pressure over skyrocketing drug prices.
After his sentencing in March 2018, Shkreli was held in a minimum-security prison. But in March of this year, Shkreli was moved to a more secure facility after The Wall Street Journal reported that he was still running Turing (now known as Phoenixus AG) from behind bars with the use of a contraband cellphone.