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'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli Has His Day in Brooklyn Court

Martin Shkreli will no longer be speaking to the media — because his attorney ordered him to stop talking.
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Martin Shkreli will no longer be speaking to the media — because his attorney ordered him to stop talking.

The former pharmaceutical CEO's new counsel, Benjamin Brafman, told reporters outside U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn on Wednesday that he had told the talkative Shkreli that he would not take his case unless he learned to be silent in front of reporters.

Brafman added that Shkreli plans to invoke the Fifth Amendment when he appears before a Congressional committee on Thursday. Shkreli is due to appear in Washington before a committee investigating drug pricing.

It was also revealed that Shkreli's E-Trade account is now valued around $4 million, a fraction of its original value of $45 million when it was first used as collateral for his $5-million bond. The decline in the value is due to the account's large holdings of KaloBios stock, which spiked higher than $30 per share in late November but has since plunged to the $2 range.

That said, the attorney expressed confidence about the status of Shkreli's bail. "I don't believe there will ever be an issue here" regarding bail, Brafman said.

Shkreli, 32, is accused of looting the pharmaceutical company he had founded, Retrophin, in order to pay off investors he was suspected of defrauding at hedge funds he ran. He has denied the charges.

Shkreli's original hearing was postponed so the former pharmaceutical executive could hire new defense attorneys. Shkreli's new lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, has previously represented Michael Jackson, Jay Z and Sean "Diddy" Combs.

Brafman, in a statement issued Tuesday, had said, "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 gained widespread notoriety last summer when another company he had founding, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of its drug Daraprim by more than 5,500 percent. Daraprim, which went from costing $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill, is used to treat toxoplasmosis, a parasitic condition that can occur in pregnant women and people with the HIV virus.