NEW YORK, Jan. 19 (UPI) -- Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli -- who rose to infamy in September by raising the price of a medication by more than 5,000 percent -- is hiring a new defense team to fight the federal securities fraud charges against him.
Attorneys for Shkreli, 32, notified the Brooklyn judge in the case that they were being replaced by new counsel.
The outgoing attorneys, of Arnold and Porter, LLC, requested a two-week continuance in the case so Shkreli can get his new defense team up to speed.
Shkreli is the founder of several hedge funds and Turing Pharmaceuticals, which became the focus of intense controversy in September when it acquired the rights to the drug Daraprim for $55 million -- and promptly raised the price from $13 to $750 per tablet.
In December, Shkreli was arrested by the FBI and charged with securities fraud relating to his capital management practices. Prosecutors say he misappropriated about $1 million in his investors' money, and used cash from one of his drug companies to cover investors' losses.
Shkreli departed Turing and two other drug companies after his arrest.
In an interview last month, Shkreli said the controversy over the Daraprim price increase spurred federal authorities to target him. During the interview, he also expressed contempt for the some of the treatment he's received in the media and refuted the idea that he is a greedy executive.
This isn't the first time Shkreli has been the target of federal investigators. In 2003, at age 19, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission looked into his activities while he was an assistant at a Wall Street hedge fund operated by TV personality Jim Cramer, but found no wrongdoing.
Shkreli enraged music fans last month when it was revealed that he was the buyer of the Wu-Tang Clan's one-of-a-kind album, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. He said he probably wouldn't listen to it for years.