Martin Shkreli is going to remain silent, for now, new lawyer says

NEW YORK -- Bad-boy ex-pharmaceutical company CEO and prolific social media user Martin Shkreli has been muzzled.

A new lawyer in a federal securities fraud case against Shkreli told reporters outside court on Wednesday that his client would stop speaking out in his own defence until the charges are resolved.

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"We want to try this case in the courtroom and not in the media," defence attorney Benjamin Brafman said with a silent Shkreli at his side following a pretrial hearing in Brooklyn.

Shkreli, 32, gained notoriety last year after a drug company he founded, Turing Pharmaceuticals, spent $55 million for the U.S. rights to sell a life-saving medicine called Daraprim and promptly raised the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

The spotlight intensified last year when he was arrested on charges related to a hedge fund he once ran. Prosecutors allege that after he lost investors' money through bad trades, he looted Retrophin, another pharmaceutical company where he was CEO, for $11 million to pay back his disgruntled clients.

Since the arrest, Shkreli has frequently turned to social media and news outlets to lash out at his accusers. In a TV interview this week about his expected appearance before a congressional committee investigating the price of drugs, he said he'd like to "berate" and "insult" Congress -- but instead will take the Fifth Amendment.

On Wednesday, a prosecutor told the judge that the value of a brokerage account used to secure Shkreli's release on $5 million bond -- mostly invested in a biotech business once operated by Shkreli -- had declined, and that more collateral may be needed if it goes down any further. Brafman said it wasn't surprising the account took a hit.

"There's nothing like an indictment to affect shares of stock," he said.

Shkreli's other assets most notably include the only copy of a Wu-Tang Clan album titled "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin," which the hip-hop group sold on the condition that it not be released publicly. He said he paid $2 million for it.



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