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U.S. judge wants more details on ex-drug executive Shkreli's finances


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By Brendan PiersonJune 19 (Reuters) - Former drug company executive Martin
Shkreli should reveal more about his finances if he wants his $5
million bail cut to $2 million, a Brooklyn federal judge said
Monday, a week before Shkreli is set to face trial on securities
fraud charges.
    Lawyers for Shkreli, who drew public outrage after raising
the price of a life-saving drug 5,000 percent when he was CEO of
Turing Pharmaceuticals in 2015, said in a court filing last week
that he needed the $3 million to pay back taxes and his lawyers
and accountants. Federal prosecutors have not agreed to the
request.
    U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto did not rule on Shkreli's
request at a hearing on Monday, but said she would be
"reluctant" to release the money without knowing more about what
assets Shkreli had and what he had done to liquidate them.
    Shkreli has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges involving
his management of his previous company Retrophin Inc and the
hedge fund MSMB Capital Management from 2009 to 2014.
    Prosecutors claim that he engaged in a Ponzi-like scheme in
which he defrauded investors in MSMB and took millions in assets
from Retrophin to repay them. A trial is set to begin next
Monday and last at least four weeks.
    Alixandra Smith, Assistant U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn, said
at Monday's hearing that Shkreli had reported his net worth at
$70 million after being arrested.
    Shkreli's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, conceded that Shkreli
still owned a share of Turing worth $30 to $50 million, but said
he could not sell it without the consent of the other partners
in the company.
    Smith said the government was skeptical that Shkreli was
cash-poor in part because he bragged of his wealth on Twitter
and other social media, flaunting purchases like a $2 millionWu-Tang Clan album, a Picasso and a World War II-era Enigma code
breaking machine.
    Shkreli has also pledged in a Facebook post to pay $100,000
for information leading to the arrest of the killer of former
Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich, whose murder
has sparked conspiracy theories. He also offered $40,000 to a
Princeton student who solved a mathematical proof, Smith said.
    Brafman, however, suggested that Shkreli's social media
boasting was just a sign of the times.
    "Tweeting has become, unfortunately, so fashionable, and
when people tweet, they don't always mean what they say," he
said.

 (Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; editing by Diane
Craft)
 ((Brendan.Pierson@thomsonreuters.com; 646-223-6017)(desk)(;
646-306-0235)(cell)(;))

Keywords: USA CRIME/SHKRELI



This article appears in: Stocks , Politics


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