Martin Shkreli pleads the Fifth

Martin Shkreli of Turing Pharmaceuticals pleaded the Fifth for all questions during his hearing on Capitol Hill before tweeting that the government representatives were "imbeciles."
By Adam Widmer | Feb 23, 2016
Last year, Martin Shkreli, 32, was dubbed by news outlets as the most hated man in America. Shkreli's pharmaceutical company Turing Pharmaceuticals had purchased Daraprim, a lifesaving drug used to treat HIV patients and others with suppressed immune systems, and immediately raised the price by 5,000 percent.

FBI agents showed up at the baby-faced CEO's Manhattan apartment in December to arrest the executive on unrelated securities charges. Shkreli was accused of cheating investors in two hedge funds he had operated by lying to them about the value of assets under management. He was released on $5 million bail.

As he faced trial on Capitol Hill Thursday morning, Martin Shkreli constantly pleaded the fifth.

"On advice of the counsel, I invoke the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and respectfully decline to answer your question."

Despite his placid mask and smiles, his answers to the questioning became more hostile, as exemplified by his answer to Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina's suggestion that he respond.

"I intend to follow the advice of my counsel, and not yours."

While he may have been quiet in court, on Twitter, of which Shkreli is a constant user, the pharmaceutical bad boy lambasted the hearing.

"Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government," Shkreli tweeted to his 53,500 followers. Shkreli is a notorious social media user, and even live streamed his life after he was charged by the FBI. In the months after posting bail, Shkreli gave several media interviews, tweeted excessively and spent hours on his live stream.

Shkreli's change in tactic from outspoken social media maven to reticent pleader of the Fifth Amendment comes at the orders of his new lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, who is best known for representing famous rappers. Brafman had one condition for taking on Shkreli's case: No more media interviews. While he may be conciliatory in the courtroom, however, Shkreli does not seem able to stop constantly tweeting his views.

 

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