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Retrophin CEO calls Martin Shkreli 'Pied Piper ... he tells a story, sings a song' during testimony at fraud trial

The CEO of the drug company founded by Martin Shkreli on Thursday called Shkreli a "Pied Piper" who entranced investors and co-workers with his bold predictions of pharmaceutical success.

Retrophin CEO Stephen Aselage, during testimony at Shkreli's securities fraud trial, also called him a "brilliant intellect" and a "visionary."

Shkreli was a "Pied Piper ... he tells a story, sings a song," Aselage said.

But there were times, Aselage testified, when Shkreli was "not as credible as he could have been."

And when questioned by a prosecutor about why he remained at Retrophin after being kept in the dark about some things Shkreli was doing, Aselage said, "Yeah, I've asked myself that question a number of times."

Shkreli, 34, is charged in Brooklyn, New York, federal court with looting Retrophin of stock shares and cash to pay off investors in two hedge funds he ran, whom he is also accused of defrauding.

He has denied the charges, which are unrelated to his controversial hiking of the price of a drug more than 5,000 percent in 2015 while leading another company, Turing Pharmaceuticals.

Shkreli founded Retrophin in 2011, shortly after witnesses have said his hedge fund MSMB Capital effectively imploded by making a disastrous short-sale trade of stock in another drug company.

Witnesses have also said that when they tried to withdraw their investments in Shkreli's hedge funds after he said they were closing operations, he put them off for up to a year or more.

And, they testified, instead of giving them just cash, as requested, he gave them stock in Retrophin in addition to cash and had them...