Martin Shkreli, known as the “Most Hated Man in America,” will be standing trial starting Monday, the former pharmaceutical chief executive is facing securities fraud in federal court in Brooklyn, New York. Shkreli, 34, was caught cheating the drug company Retrophin, which he founded, out of millions of dollars to pay investors in two hedge funds he ran. He also defrauded those investors in a Ponzi scheme.
Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, is claiming that the 34 year-old is broke and has no cash, however his criminal defense fees are believed to be as high as $4.8 million.
In the past Shkreli has boated that he ownes a Picasso painting and an original Enigma wartime code-breaking machine valued at nearly $300,000, he also purchased the domain names of reporters he didn’t like and purchased secret albums by Wu-Tang Clan and Lil Wayne, but according to his lawyer those were all “preposterous promises” that were made to maintain Shkreli’s relevance on social media.
Shkreli also owns an ownership stake in another drug company he founded, Turing Pharmaceuticals, that could be valued at $50 million.
Yet with all these avenues of income and money, Shkreli has sent out please for money, offering $20 on Facebook to answer people’s questions and asking followers to donate to his Bitcoin account.
Shkreli first rose to unflattering fame when he drastically increased the price of a drug called Daraprim while he was chief executive of Turing. He rose the price of the drug from $13.50 to $750 per pill which made it impossible for people to purchase it. The pill was for pregnant woman, babies and other people infected with HIV.