The notorious former pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli plans to hire new legal counsel to represent him against charges that he defrauded investors while working at a hedge fund, his current lawyers said.
Shkreli incited protests last year when he substantially raised the price of a life-saving drug called Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill as the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals. The drug is used to treat a parasitic infection that can be deadly to people with HIV or cancer. In response to the backlash, Shkreli said he would lower the price of the drug but then changed his mind. He said at a Forbes conference: “My shareholders expect me to make the most profit. That’s the ugly, dirty truth.”
He resigned as the head of multiple drug companies after he was arrested in December on unrelated charges.
U.S. prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission are accusing Shkreli of misappropriating more than $1 million in investors’ money at two hedge funds as well as illegally taking cash from his first drug company, Retrophin, to pay off some of his hedge fund investors. He has maintained that federal prosecutors have unjustly targeted him in interviews. He recently said the federal government’s case against him was “fictitious” in an interview with TV station WNYW.
Shkreli is in the process of hiring new lawyers, according to papers his current firm Arnold & Porter filed in Brooklyn on Monday. The lawyers did not cite a reason for the change in the paperwork.