Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

'Pharma Bro' Refuses To Keep Quiet Before Fraud Trial

'Pharma Bro' Refuses To Keep Quiet Before Fraud Trial 'Pharma Bro' Refuses To Keep Quiet Before Fraud Trial
Nellie Chapman | 27 June, 2017, 07:58

You might know Martin Shkreli as the young pharmaceuticals CEO who gouged the price on a needed AIDS drug by 5000 percent.

Shkreli -also known as "Pharma Bro" or "the bad boy of pharma"- is charged with securities fraud, accused of essentially running a Ponzi scheme on investors in his companies. In order to pay back investors at MSMB, prosecutors allege that Shkreli stole money from Retrophin.

The brash, social media and hip-hop-loving Brooklyn native, who has denied the allegations, was arrested on those charges in December 2015, months after garnering widespread scorn for raising the retail price of the drug Daraprim from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill.

Since his high-profile arrest in late 2015, Shkreli has been free on bail and free to speak his mind.

Shkreli, 34, faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

His defense team has argued no harm, no foul.

"Everybody got paid back in this case", his lawyer said. "There are going to be jurors who will be fans of mine".

As he arrived at the courthouse, Shkreli was followed by dozens of photographers and cameramen. When the judge asked him if he could remain fair and impartial the man said no.

Another juror pretended to wring Shkreli's neck as he sat several feet away in the courtroom, saying she viewed him as "a person who puts profit over everything else", the Daily Beast reported.

Shkreli's trial is expected to last four to six weeks. Shkreli quickly threw fuel on that fire by refusing to decrease the price of Daraprim.

In April, he offered $40,000 United States to a Princeton University student who solved a mathematical proof.

Shkreli has also boasted that he owns a Picasso painting and an original Enigma wartime code-breaking machine valued at almost $300,000, had purchased the domain names of reporters he didn't like and had purchased secret albums by Wu-Tang Clan and Lil Wayne. Last Monday, he sat quietly at his hearing in federal court - and then went home and live-streamed his activities for two and a half hours, The New York Times reports.

"I looked right at him and in my head I said, 'That's a snake, '" said one woman.

The lawyer said that Shkreli was essentially cash broke, although he claimed his client was worth tens of millions of dollars from Shkreli's ownership stake in Turing.