Former pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli has retained Benjamin Brafman, a prominent litigator who runs a defense boutique, to defend him against securities fraud charges.
Brafman and firm attorneys Marc Agnifilo and Andrea Zellan entered court appearances for Shkreli Tuesday. They are replacing Arnold & Porter.
Shkreli attracted attention last year when Turing Pharmaceuticals, where he was CEO until December, increased the price of the drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 overnight. But the criminal charges brought against Shkreli in December involve his actions at a separate pharmaceutical company, Retrophin, where he was CEO until 2014.
The Eastern District U.S. Attorney’s office alleges he defrauded hedge fund investors and then misappropriated more than $11 million in assets from Retrophin to pay back the investors. Kaye Scholer partner Evan Greebel, Retrophin’s outside counsel, was also charged. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Brafman, head of seven-attorney Brafman & Associates, said he will appear Wednesday with Shkreli at a status conference. In a statement, Brafman said “the charges are very defensible and we are confident that he will be fully exonerated. It is clear that Mr. Shkreli never intended to violate the law, nor did he ever intend to defraud anyone.”
Brafman said Shkreli has generated “unfair press coverage in recent weeks for matters that have absolutely nothing to do with the criminal charges” and “I intend to work very hard to save him.”
A congressional committee has subpoenaed Shkreli to testify at a hearing Thursday focused on drug pricing. In an interview with Fox Business Tuesday, Shkreli said he would like to “berate” and “insult” Congress, but instead will take the Fifth Amendment during questioning.