Prosecutors Say Witnesses Scared of Martin Shkreli’s Rebutal
Feb 22, 2016 04:09 AM EST
Prosecutors say that a number of witnesses who have come out in the securities fraud charge against pharmaceutical bad boy, Martin Shkreli, are worried that he would retaliate once they testify against him. A Brooklyn federal court filing has these witnesses concerned if they decide to cooperate with the federal agents handling his case.
Chicago Tribune has reported that because of the concern witnesses are exhibiting, the prosecutors have decided to ask a judge to delay the civil lawsuit that Shkreli was facing against the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The request was filed on Thursday in a US District Court in Brooklyn. Based on the request, the civil lawsuit should be postponed until the 32-year-old's criminal case transpires.
During the hearing, Shkreli has started to take depositions in his civil case. But because of a "concern of witness intimidation," the prosecutors had to request for the delay, as reported on Fortune. Shkreli's attorney calls these allegations as "preposterous."
According to the NY Post, prosecutors handling Shkreli's case had noted the executive's history of harassing his enemies. With this history, the witnesses are worried they would be under his wrath too.
The filing states that "there is evidence that defendant Shkreli has taken steps to intimidate or threaten individuals in the past." It also states that several witnesses have advised they were "threatened by defendant Shkreli in connection with past disputes they had with defendant Shkreli, whether of a personal or professional nature."
Shkreli has pleaded not guilty to securities fraud and conspiracy. He first gained popularity when he hiked the price of an HIV drug almost 5,000 times more than its current price. This led to an online outrage from the public. Soon later, he found himself in a series of near-farcical feuds.
Once convicted, Shkreli could face up to 20 years in prison.