As a defense attorney, you can tell your clients to stop talking to the press and trolling online, but they don’t necessarily have to listen to you. Attorneys for price-hiking pharma bro and Wu-Tang Clan enthusiast Martin Shkreli haven’t been able to keep him quiet, which may be a problem in his trial for securities fraud that begins today.
Shkreli came to the public’s attention in 2015 after Turing Pharmaceuticals, the drug company he was running, raised the price of Daraprim (an antiparasitic used to treat malaria and toxoplasmosis; often prescribed to AIDS patients) from $13.50 per dose to $750 overnight.
Shkreli was later arrested for securities fraud related to his time at another company that he ran. He’s accused of taking stock from that biotechnology firm to sell and pay off his debts from bad investments at the hedge fund that he runs as an apparent side hustle.
According to the Associated Press, Shkreli has been putting his free time to good use making Youtube videos trolling a journalist and getting himself suspended from Twitter. He’s also been giving interviews, against the advice of his attorneys.
This is a bad idea for someone who is, let’s remember, on trial for fraud and has a public persona of being kind of a jerk, to the point that there’s an entire musical making fun of him. The plan should be to cultivate an image of not being a jerk before the trial kicks off.
“You don’t want to antagonize the judge and you don’t want to get the attention of the jury in a way that hurts your case,” Gerald Lefcourt, a New York City defense attorney who is not representing Shkreli, told the AP.