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Prosecutors Ask Judge For Gag Order Against Martin Shkreli

Federal prosecutors are seeking a gag order against former Pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli, claiming that he risks tainting jurors’ opinions by waging his own publicity campaign independent of the advice of his defense counsel, according to Fox News.

Prosecutors filed a motion Monday asking that Shkreli and all attorneys in his criminal case be ordered to refrain from making statements outside court. The motion comes after Shkreli blasted prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York last week, referring to them as “junior varsity” and criticizing their opening arguments, according to New York Business Journal.

Shkreli is standing trial on eight counts of securities fraud and wire fraud related to his time running two hedge funds, MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare, and a pharmaceutical company he founded called Retrophin. In particular, prosecutors allege that Shkreli has been accused of falsifying investor statements, backdating documents and misleading investors about his record as a fund manager.

Here’s Fox:

“Federal prosecutors told U.S. District Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto that Shkreli has interacted with the media since the jury for his trial was picked and that his statements risk tainting it.


‘Shkreli appears determined to ignore the instructions of defense counsel and to wage his own public relations campaign against the witnesses and the government during the trial,’ prosecutors said.


Defense attorney Benjamin Brafman objected to a gag order and said "certain representatives of the press have gone out of their way to try to 'bait'" Shkreli into making public statements. He said his client is "under enormous pressure that is compounded by his clearly frail emotional state."


Prosecutors said another alternative could be for the judge to semi-sequester the jury.”

The trial opened last week. Shkreli is facing up to 20 years in prison if convicted. And given his refusal to accept a plea deal, and his insistence on antagonizing prosecutors, members of Congress, the media, the Wu Tang Clan – and the list goes on - it’s doubtful that the judge would feel inclined to be charitable during the sentencing phase, should Shkreli be convicted.

The government’s first witness, Sarah Hassan, said last week that she felt “betrayed” by Shkreli after he revealed that he had lost her $300,000 investment, after initially reporting a $60,000 profit. Shkreli eventually paid Hassan back $400,000 plus shares in Retrophin, the pharmaceutical company Shkreli co-founded. That company now has a market capitalization of nearly $750 million.

The trial is expected to last between 4 and 6 weeks.