Martin Shkreli defies advice to keep quiet before fraud trial

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Martin Shkreli appeared in a NY federal court Monday for the start of his securities fraud trial-and was quickly declared guilty of price gouging by potential jurors.

All told, Shkreli faces eight counts of securities fraud and conspiracy.

Shkreli, a boyish-looking 34, outraged patients and US lawmakers by raising the price of anti-parisitic drug Daraprim to $750 a pill, from $13.50, in 2015, when he was chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals.

Shkreli resigned from Turing shortly after his indictment in December 2015 after which he was released from prison on bond. He owns a Picasso painting and bought the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album "Once Upon A Time In Shaolin" for $2 million in 2015. Badgering a journalist on Twitter until his account was suspended.

Shkreli is accused of misrepresenting the assets of those funds to investors to hide the fact the funds were money-losers. Federal prosecutors filed new criminal charges accusing Shkreli of more illegal financial maneuvers at his former drug company Retrophin Inc. According to the complaint, he also issued stock and made cash payments from Retrophin (disguised as payments for consulting services) to disgruntled investors in the hedge funds who were threatening to sue.

Shkreli told The Associated Press that he's "excited" about the trial.

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Shkreli's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, described him as someone who "travels to the beat of a very unique drummer". The defense claims he had good intentions.

Shkreli seems to follow standard legal advice to stay keep mum while he's in a courtroom - but not elsewhere.

Shkreli also owns an ownership stake in another drug company he founded, Turing Pharmaceutical, that could be valued as high as $50 million.

He also, while free on $5 million bail, has spoken at several colleges, including Princeton, where he recently agreed to pay a senior $40,000 for solving a math proof for a problem Shkreli had posed.

Shkreli has also boasted that he owns a Picasso painting and an original Enigma wartime code-breaking machine valued at almost $300,000, had purchased the domain names of reporters he didn't like and had purchased secret albums by Wu-Tang Clan and Lil Wayne.

Prosecutors are expected to call as many as 57 witnesses, and lawyers on both sides said the trial could last five to six weeks.

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