Shkreli Lawyer Distances Himself From 'Most Hated Man In America' As Trial Begins

Tyler Durden's picture

While former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli languishes inside a federal jail in Brooklyn, the trial of his former attorney - and alleged co-conspirator - Evan Greebel is just beginning, with the defense and prosecution giving opening statements Friday.

The timing is unfortunate. Shrekli’s trial - which ended in him being convicted of three out of eight counts of fraud - briefly revived the public rancor over his many misdeeds. Given Shkreli’s toxic public image, it comes as no surprise that Greebel’s lawyers are already seeking to distance their client - who was arrested on the same day as Shkreli and whose picture was splashed across cable news networks alongside Shkreli’s - from the disgraced pharma executive, who was jailed last month after a judge revoked his bail following a series of controversial and vaguely threatening Facebook posts, Bloomberg reported.

As many will remember, Shkreli’s comfortable life as a successful young pharmaceutical CEO began to unravel in September 2015 when the New York Times reported that Turing had hiked the price of a life-saving toxoplasmosis drug by 5,000%, thrusting Shkreli into an uncomfortable public spotlight and drawing a public rebuke from Hillary Clinton, then presumed to be the next president of the United States.

Following his indictment, Shkreli seemingly set out to destroy any lingering public sympathy by antagonizing the federal government and harassing female journalists - actions that ultimately led to his jailing. Prosecutors have accused Greebel of helping Shkreli steal $11 million from Retrophin, a pharmaceutical company Shkreli founded and ran before being forced out in 2014. Greebel was terminated as Retrophin’s counsel soon after.

Shkreli allegedly used the money, along with Retrophin stock, to repay investors in two failed hedge funds by signing them on to sham consulting agreements with salaries and stock grants. Greebel is also accused of helping Shkreli manipulate the price of Retrophin stock.

Fortunately for Greebel’s defense team, their client has a somewhat more resepectable public image than his associate. He has a family and was once a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP and Kaye Scholer LLP. They’re essentially trying to sell a narrative of him being a quiet family man who got in over his head.

In opening statements on Friday, Greebel’s lawyer told jurors that the 44-year-old father of three and Shkreli, a former biotech executive notorious for aggressive drug-pricing tactics, were as "different as two people can be." Greebel was by no means Shkreli’s "right-hand man," defense lawyer Reed Brodsky told jurors at the trial in Brooklyn, New York.

 

Greebel “lived a quiet life,” Brodsky said, while Shkreli was "cultivating this public personality and persona, blogging and tweeting.”

 

It’s no mystery why Greebel, a former corporate lawyer, would want to separate himself from Shkreli, who is in jail after his conviction for lying to hedge fund investors (although jurors weren’t told about that). Greebel wants to show that Shkreli lied to him as well, and that Greebel had no reason to believe he was being asked to do anything wrong.

 

"Mr. Shkreli is kind of a contradiction," Brodsky said, arguing that Shkreli managed to con people with his "image" of success, brilliant ideas and "photographic memory."

Meanwhile, prosecutors allege he knowingly helped Shkreli loot his company and manipulate its share price for profit.

In the government’s opening statement, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Kessler said Greebel started working for Shkreli’s companies around 2011 and used his legal talents to aid Shkreli’s fraud. Kessler said Greebel wanted to please Shkreli to make millions of dollars in fees for his firm.

 

"Agreeing to help the CEO of a company steal from the company is a crime," Kessler said. "Agreeing to help illegally control the stock market is a crime."

As Bloomberg noted, Greebel’s demeanor in court couldn’t have differed more from Shkreli’s. He sat quietly by his defense team, smiling briefly but otherwise remaining expressionless.

Meanwhile, Shkreli’s was on the receiving end of more bad news this week when a Brooklyn judge refused to return his $5 million bond, saying the money might be needed to offset any monetary penalties that may be levied against Shkreli, the New York Post reported.

Shkreli’s lawyer Ben Brafman asked her to release the money so his client — No. 14 on New York state’s list of top delinquent taxpayers — can start paying taxes.
 

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The Alarmist's picture

What? To take Weinstein on as a client?

weburke's picture

best not to hang with a hip hop lover. 

Dutti's picture

Evan Greebel or rather Evan Greedy?

PT's picture

But I've gots ta know:  Has all the drug prices gone back down to pre-Shkreli levels?

 

Or is he now the fall-guy while someone else makes off with the loot?

Bes's picture

he's a pure capitalist

doing what the laws allow him to do

who cares if it fucks over people

---------

kind of like trump importing chinese steel and offshoring all of his merchandise production

perfectly legal

who cares that it fucks over americans

 

swmnguy's picture

Yes, I've seen that argument made on ZH before.  Except it's horseshit.  He's no "pure capitalist," in any way.  Therefore his behavior is not acceptable.

It's not "pure capitalism" when Shkreli took advantage of patent laws, government regulation and subsidy of the medical and therefore pharma industry, the public/private partnership between government and the insurance/Finance sector, and the various laws and regulation surrounding corporate governance.

In an environment in which "pure capitalism" was possible, when Shkreli priced his drug out of the reach of people's ability to pay, he would immediately have gone bankrupt.  And his competitors, who would have been able to make the drugs too, would have undercut him on price and taken all his customers.

Nope, Shkreli merely extorted from hostages, under cover of the full panoply of regulations and laws.  Fuck 'im for being an asshole.

Mr. Apotheosis's picture

"when Shkreli took advantage of patent laws, government regulation..."

Hmm.. I wonder who wrote those laws? Unregulated capitalism leads to an oligarchy unamenable to market forces. Bow down to your new overlords libertarian suckers. Turns out freedom has a price tag.

It's a small club and you fuckers ain't in it.

Irate Samurai's picture

How does unregulated capitalism lead to oligarchy when an oligarchy is literally the collusion of government with business? You are a fucking moron. Leave the economics to people who have actually taken more than five minutes to read a ZH article and have picked up a book from the greats like Mises, Menger, Bohm von Bawerk, etc. 

PT's picture

" ... when an oligarchy is literally the collusion of government with business" - There is your answer right there.  Big Business bought the govt and they always will.  Your idealized version of "Capitalism" will never exist.  It is a hippy dream.  Not the hippy Communist dream but the hippy Capitalist dream.  "Oh, if only we all peace and love and stuff then Utopia will be upon us.  Won't you join us in our Utopia?  If only we all work harder and get nothing in return the Capitalism/Communism will save us!"  - Oh, that's right, you have that magical "competitive advantage" that means you will turn a profit.  You're different!  You're smart!    If only we were all different and all smart then we could all be as rich as you!  There will always be room for innovators but there will never be that many of them.  In the meantime the world runs on Production and for the majority of the population, production pays jack shit.  We have a phrase describing the Capitalists that are fully exposed to Competition.  We call them "minimum wage workers"... and a lot of the so-called "skilled" workers are finding out that it doesn't matter if they make twice as much as a minimum wage worker because twice fuck-all is still fuck-all.

In the real world, Capitalists do whatever it takes to keep their competitive advantage. 
No governments?  They'll lie, cheat and steal.
Government?  They hire better lawyers.

You think some guy spends his whole life building an empire, only to see it fall apart from some young, enterprising upstart offering the customers a better deal?  No.  He ain't letting his life's work fall apart that easily.
You think the heirs to the fortune will quietly acknowledge that some new guy on the scene is doing a better job so therefore they don't mind losing their fortune becoz all is fair in Capitalism?  No.  Their heir-to-other-fortune buddies are suffering the same problem so they get together to take down the new guys.

Why do you whinge about the gummint?  You're a Capitalist, aren't you?  Why don't you just join the big boys and buy your own gummint?  Same argument you throw at the workers - "Why don't you start your own business?"  "You obviously don't work hard enough / smart enough." 

Government is supposed to regulate justice, leaving the Capitalists free to make an honest profit as the Capitalists have proven time and again that they will not willingly give up a, umm, shall we call it "Competitive advantage"?  Eventually the smart businesses buy the government.  Then they expand.  Then the corruption gets to the point where no-one can survive by obeying the government.  Then the whole system collapses and rightly so.  Then you get your beloved Anarchy.  Then bullies team up to overcome bigger bullies ... who eventually figure out they can have more peace and prosperity if they be nice to a few people, they call themselves "Government" and then the whole cycle starts again.

Yes, we're living during the wrong part of the cycle.  Your best hope is to find a country that is just entering the good part of the cycle, if one still exists.  The oligarch bastards are trying to synch them all together.  Then we're all fucked at the same time.

Irate Samurai's picture

Appreciate the brain dead downvoting me. Unregulated capitalism has never existed in American history. From the very start businesses used their influence to write laws meant to protect themselves from competition, culminating in 1913 with the Federal Reserve Act. It was of course a progressive president who pushed this bill as a means to regulate greedy banks that were going belly up and losing their depositors' money, but anyone with a brain knows it was a means to consolidate power for the old banks to push out the new banks. It is your beloved state that empowers these criminals, so keep pushing that regulation nonsense to your own disadvantage.

PT's picture

"Unregulated capitalism has never existed in American history." - and there it is again.  How many more centuries do you have to wait before you realize that Unregulated Capitalism is a Utopian fantasy of the same ilk as Pure Communism, Benevolent Kings, Unicorns and Fairy Land?

"Didn't work becoz we don't have Pure Capitalism."
Meanwhile in 20th Century USSR:
"Didn't work becoz we don't have Pure Communism."
In theory, if I pour more petrol in my car engine and rev it harder then it goes faster.
In reality, after a certain point the engine just blows up.
The ideals have practical limits.  At certain points, the stuff we ignore can no longer be ignored because their effects are no longer insignificant.

Irate Samurai's picture

That is compete and utter horseshit. While I agree that IP is bullshit Shkreli worked completely fairly and rationally within the reigns of this fucked up system. Toxoplasmosis is a very rare disease; therefore it has an extremely limited demand. Incompetent and lazy assholes who previously owned the drug had it incredibly underpriced so according to the laws of supply and demand he raised the price to reflect the true demand. Critics of Shkreli have been unable to point to a single patient who suffered from his price hike because they don't exist. Insurance companies paid for the price increase like they should have been doing all along. Shkreli said he planned to use profits to develop a better drug since Daraprim has awful side effects and a relative of his was a sufferer of the disease.

ed31337's picture

His drugs are not patent protected. They've been around too long. Competitors could make the drugs, but they don't because the market for these particular drugs is too small to bother going through all the gov't beuacracy to get a generic version approved for sale.

The son of two janitors from Albania, Shkreli rose from rags to riches and now the gov't wants to smack him back down to rags. 

When is the gov't gonna put that same smackdown on the CEO of Mylan for Epipen price hikes? Oh, that's right, probably never since she has ties to people in high places of gov't.

Fuck the gov't and their cronyism.

Rex Andrus's picture

No, he's a psychopath. Killing your customers is bad business. Defrauding your customers will ruin your life slow like this idiot, or get you killed.

the cork's picture

Hey dumbshit, your stupidity is exceeded only by your ignorance.

Shut your ignorant cock hole.

DavidFL's picture

Well, this is what happens when the system does not like you!

Atomizer's picture

Fuck you cunts. Browser crash doesn't work on my device. 

There are a few good videos to share on Pharmaceutical bullshit. FDA approvals. Later on. 

Tyler..Publish the Pedophile video I gave you this morning. 

chunga's picture

I don't like this guy but I can think of hundreds of politicians I like even less, a lot less.

Ms No's picture

I think they hate him because, whether intentionally or not, his behavior threatened to expose an entire industry and draw unwanted attention.  That and he trolled Hillary pretty well.  Too smart, loose cannon, outsider/fringe dweller.  I watched some of his videos on investment topics and he comes across as savant with asperger's.  He is on anxiety meds and apparently he has had it since youth, so he isn't a psycho, which is more than we can say about most of the rest of them.  The guy doesn't come across as a liar either.  He tells you exactly what his position is and why with everything, with Asperger's like precision. 

 

 

PT's picture

He was too blatant.  Being too blatant he got lots of bad publicity.  He had no idea how to handle the media ... or the public in general given that he could have slowly jacked up prices over a few years and no-one would have noticed.  Too much bad publicity, a public baying for blood - especially given the hikes in medical profits over the last decade or two, and let us not forget, the parasites would love to take his business from him and give it to themselves - especially now all the bad publicity has been dumped onto him.  Like I asked before, have the prices gone back down again?  (I really don't know.)

Too much stick if they ignored him.  A nice little profit if they "sacrificed" him to the masses.  Someone found the decision a no-brainer.
"Sacrificed"?  Wrong word?  He sure as hell didn't deserve to walk away free, especially if he was guilty of fraud.  But yeah, definitely not with the "in" crowd given he couldn't just shrug it all off.

Rex Andrus's picture

Skreli isn't even close to being in the running for most hated woman in the world. Yet Another Deep State Distraction brought to you by the more hated (((msm))) and its (((owners))), who just grenaded their very successful, long running sports distraction psyop. This is going to cost them. HA HA

Irate Samurai's picture

It amazes me how dense and hypocritical some ZH posters can be. Shkreli was the subject of a political witchhunt. Big Pharma didn't like how he was exposing their incompetence and corruption. The man purchased a shit orphaned drug called Daraprim meant to treat a rare disease called toxoplasmosis and jacked up the price with the goal to make enough proceeds to fund research for a better drug. He hurt absolutely no one except the health insurance companies in the process. If anyone could not get Daraprim through their insurance they had a program that gave the drug out for free or through a very deep discount. The man is actually incredibly smart and not the douche he makes himself to be. He's a troll.

Rex Andrus's picture

You put it that way, he's going to prison for ripping off the same psychos Madoff did. Not too smart.

Irate Samurai's picture

Except he didn't rip anyone off. He didn't even get a complaint from any of his investors. The state filed the charges.

Rex Andrus's picture

He hurt absolutely no one except the health insurance companies Sounds like he rolled some insurance racketeers. Big pharma bankster types. Who runs the insurance rackets, Clarice?

Bemused Observer's picture

Does anyone actually believe this guy is for real? He is straight out of central casting...you couldn't find a more perfect 'villain' if you are looking to vent some public anger at Big Pharma. Skinny, greasy, rat-like face, and a personality that grates like sandpaper. Oh, and he is a huge fan of rap music...of course he is. And I'll bet he drowns kittens too.

 

So, how the hell does this loser get to be head of a pharmaceutical company? These products are heavily regulated, and many are controlled substances, which means you aren't GETTING that job without approval. You can't just walk off the street, plunk down a wad of cash, and buy a pharmaceutical company..."Yay! Now all the drugs are MINE and I can do what I want with them!". It doesn't work that way. Even if it WAS that easy, the other pharmaceutical companies would have bought that company long before Marty got his paws on it, they control the industry too closely to allow just any slob into their 'club'. If Marty was CEO, it was because someone PUT him there, for a reason.

 

He was PUT there to become a distraction. These companies are starting to worry about the future of healthcare, and of their runaway profits. Congress is starting to pay attention. They needed some fall guy to become the focus of anger, so he could then be 'suitably punished' in a very public way, and hopefully relieve some of the building pressure on the REAL pharma executives.

 

I'm sure he is being very well compensated for playing his role so well. Their pockets are deep, and I can only imagine what they dangled in front of this kid, and how tempting it would be to just take it and run. If you are an ambitious young dude, but smart enough to know that the future for your generation looks pretty crowded and mediocre, then this would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change all that in a big way. Put up with some abuse, spend a little time in jail (protected, of course) then when you get out, you disappear and go anywhere you fucking WANT, and live like a pasha.

PT's picture

Plausible, but why would they pay a professional patsy when they can just rip off a real chump?  Could be a genuine idiot that they thought, "What convenient timing.  Let him run and then we'll pull out the rug later."  The guy's reputation in tatters, who is going to listen or pity him if he complains?  Let your enemy do the dirty work, let your enemy take on all the risk and then when it blows up in his face, you take the spoils.  How easy is that?

If I had to bet on either actor or convenient patsy, I'd choose convenient patsy.  You may be right but I'd prefer to see more evidence.

Irate Samurai's picture

I encourage everyone buying the establishment media story to actually hear Shkreli explain his reasoning for the price hike. Not sure why you don't trust them for anything except shit like this. Also, the 3 out of 8 charges were bullshit and politically motivated. Stop letting the media do your research for you.

Ms No's picture

He deserves to go to jail but he is far from the worst.  This guy is literally a product of this business environment.  Everything is about making the money and succeeding.  Everything is about shareholders first.  When you study the big movers, which is what he did (Buffet is his hero) they are all taking any advantage they can get.  The crooked are rewarded and everybody else will be marginal if not toast.  What the hell do they expect?  All he did was get super ballsy and go too far with it and draw attention.  I don't think he ever lied about what he was doing.  Our entire market is a corrupt piece of shit.  Amazon and Bezoz are in the process of monopolizing our entire retail sector, and this guy is the most hated?  Bitchez please...  Most of these drugs that they are pushing were passed with fraudulent research and will kill countless people to begin with.  Good gawd.

AgAuSkeptic's picture

He is my hero! the screw job he did with Thiola stands to this day and has been emulated by other drugs companies. It was a totally common drug, effective but nothing special (https://www.rxrankings.com/datatable/default/chart/zzzHYR# see FDA hidden info as well) , he made it special and bumped the price , what a darling

Dorothea Binz's picture

Skrelli is the most hated man in America? I guess Harvey Weinstein still has another chance at Hollywood after all. Skrelli could learn a bit from Weinstein. If only you sprinkle millions on the right people, you can still do whatever you want.

wisebastard's picture

im not sure why the creators of the affordable care act are not in his position

artichoke's picture

The judge is being unreasonable with Shkreli.  Many worse are treated with far more respect.  Refusing to return the bond after revoking it -- can a judge even do that?

sevensixtwo's picture

> Shkreli languishes inside a federal jail in Brooklyn

I bet it's not filthy in there and there's no bed bugs