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Defense attorney to former drug exec Shkreli in fraud case: 'Stop talking'

By Doug G. Ware
1/5
Defense attorney to former drug exec Shkreli in fraud case: 'Stop talking'
Ex-Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli arrives at the United States Federal courthouse on Wednesday in New York City. Shkreli was arrested in December on charges of federal securities fraud. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Former Turing Pharmaceuticals chief Martin Shkreli has been given a piece of advice by his attorney regarding the former executive's fraud case -- stop talking.

Shkreli, 32, faces accusations of federal securities fraud stemming from his activities managing investment capital, for which he was arrested by the FBI in December.

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Shkreli first made headlines last year when his company, Turing, increased the price of an old medication 5,000 percent, from $13 to $750 per tablet. His interactions on social media and media interviews have drawn substantial criticism and even led some to call him "the most hated man in America."

"He is not making any more statements. Zero," attorney Ben Brafman, who is representing Shkreli in the legal action, said Wednesday. Shkreli retained Brafman earlier this month after firing his former defense team.

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Shkreli, also a capital management professional, further irritated critics last week by posting a video threatening to completely remove rapper Ghostface Killa from the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan's album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin -- the only copy of which was purchased by Shkreli for $2 million -- after the musician criticized him.

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Prosecutors say Shkreli misappropriated about $1 million in investors' money, and used cash from one of his drug companies to cover losses.

Wednesday, Brafman denied that his client is guilty of any wrongdoing.

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"It is clear that Mr. Shkreli never intended to violate the law, nor did he ever defraud anyone," he said.

Thursday, Shkreli will appear before a congressional committee in Washington regarding the skyrocketing price of Turing's drug, Daraprim, last summer.

Brafman said Shkreli's keeping quiet is a condition of his representation.

"He's probably the best lawyer in the world. I'm confident we'll beat the charges," Shkreli said of his new attorney.

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