Shkreli begs for ‘bail’ out
“Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli wants his $5 million bail reduced to $2 million so he can start paying off his debts because he’s broke, his lawyer argued Monday in Brooklyn federal court.
“He doesn’t have any cash,” said attorney Benjamin Brafman, arguing that the funds are needed to pay legal fees, accounting fees and taxes.
Prosecutors said Shkreli, 34, was worth $70 million when he was charged in 2015 with running an $11 million Ponzi scheme in which he paid off debts from two failing hedge funds with money from his former biopharmaceutical firm, Retrophin.
The feds argued against the bail reduction, citing comments the bad boy has made about his cash flow.
“The defendant makes public statements that he has liquid assets ... offering $40,000 to a Princeton student to solve a theorem,” prosecutor Alixandra Smith said, adding that he has also offered $300,000 to find a killer.
And in December, she said, Shkreli bought an unreleased Lil Wayne album titled “Tha Carter V” for an undisclosed sum.
Shkreli’s other pricey belongings include a Picasso painting and a Nazi-era German Enigma machine. Such machines have sold for nearly $300,000 at auction.
Judge Kiyo Matsumoto will rule on the bail application this week.
Shkreli’s trial is expected to take five to six weeks. Prosecutors revealed Monday that they have a list of 57 potential witnesses, while the defense has 34.