'Pharma Bro' defies advice to keep quiet before fraud trial

  • 'Pharma Bro' defies advice to keep quiet before fraud trial

'Pharma Bro' defies advice to keep quiet before fraud trial

It's been nearly two years since Martin Shkreli - who some consider "the most hated man in America" - was arrested on securities fraud and wire fraud charges.

Pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, during the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on his former company's decision to raise the price of a lifesaving medicine.

On Monday, Martin Shkreli's trial starts for something completely unrelated.

Another man told the judge, Kiyo A. Matsumoto, "This is the price gouger of drugs". But the ex-CEO is infamous for something completely different: raising the price of a life-saving medication given to infants and people with HIV/AIDS by more than 5,000 percent overnight as CEO and founder of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Prosecutors say he was swindling investors in his hedge fund well before he became "the most hated man in America".

In a preview of their defense, Shkreli's lawyers described him as a "boy genius" - who never meant to defraud any of his investors, and that they all ultimately got their money back.

Brafman had advised Shkreli to keep quiet as he awaited the trial-he was charged and released on $5 million bail in December 2015.

Another company that Shkreli founded, Turing Pharmaceuticals, earlier that year had purchased the drug, which is used to treat a parasitic condition found in pregnant women, infants and people with HIV.

With controversial pharma exec Martin Shkreli's fraud trial set to begin in Brooklyn, at least a dozen jurors have been excused for bias against the so-called "pharma bro", Bloomberg reports.

In court Monday, dozens of prospective jurors called Shkreli's past actions as "evil" and "disgusting" and said they could not be impartial in the case.

"There is law here, there are rules, they apply to Mr. Shkreli", she said. Shkreli was arrested by agents of the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2015. He leaked parts of the album following President Trump's election victory.

"Everybody got paid back in this case", his lawyer said, according to The Associated Press.

Despite what appears to be an uphill legal battle, Shkreli seems optimistic about his chances.