Back in U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn on Wednesday for a hearing related to securities fraud charges, the usually-outspoken Martin Shkreli was uncharacteristically subdued. This may have been because his new lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, would only take him as a client if he stopped running his mouth.
Specifically, Reuters reports, Brafman insisted that Shkreli stop talking to the media. “I know that he has previously spoken with some of you, if not all of you, and one of the conditions of my engagement was from henceforth he does not speak with any member of the press at all until the criminal charges are resolved,” the high-profile defense attorney—who until recently was also representing Manhattan real estate developer Sean Ludwick—told reporters.
“We believe this case is very defensible. We don’t believe that Mr. Shkreli ever knowingly violated the law or intended to defraud anyone, and we want to try this case in the courtroom and not in the media.”
Earlier on Wednesday, New York City hip-hop station Power 105.1 posted a half-hour-long appearance Shkreli made on “The Breakfast Club.” In that interview, Shkreli says he is “from the streets,” and maintains his beef with Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ghostface Killah. “If he were here right now, I’d smack him right in the face,” Shrekli said. “Come at me, it don’t matter.”
Brafman told CNBC that the interview was recorded on Tuesday, “before we came to an understanding.”
Meanwhile, at Wednesday’s hearing, prosecutors disclosed that the assets Shkreli put up to secure his $5 million bail—one of his E-Trade brokerage accounts was initially worth about $45 million—have been considerably depleted, to less than $5 million. From the New York Times:
Much of the decline in the E-Trade account is a result of the collapse in the price of shares of KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, another company that Mr. Shkreli briefly led, authorities said. The stock, once valued at more than $30 a share, is trading at around $2. KaloBios fired Mr. Shkreli after he was indicted, and the company filed for bankruptcy in late December.
Days before Mr. Shkreli was arrested, KaloBios raised about $8 million from a group of investors in a private placement of stock. Some of the investors in that offering, called private investment in public equity, are suing in United States Bankruptcy Court for the return of their money, claiming they were misled by the company and Mr. Shkreli.
In his “Breakfast Club” interview, Shkreli dismissed concerns that his bail might be revoked. “I’m worth a lot more than that,” he said.