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Shkreli faces down Congress in price gouging scandal

February 11th, 2016

 

Martin Shkreli, who earned the ire of many in America for his price gouging of pharmaceuticals, testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the House of Representatives to answer questions concerning his price manipulation of the HIV drug Daraprim.

 

According to Forbes Magazine, the hearing lasted only 15 minutes and did not provide any insight into Shkreli’s actions.

 

Shkreli’s former company, Turig Pharmaceuticals, hiked up the price of Darapim over 5000 percent, making the drug nearly impossible to afford to most of its users, according to CNN.

 

Shkreli plead the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer any questions that may have damaged his defense or incriminated himself.

 

The only question Shkreli chose to answer concerned the correct pronunciation of his name.

 

Questions ranged from the price gouging controversy, his motives and  personal connections, as well as his highly publicized purchase of a one of a kind Wu-Tang Clan album.

 

Although the questions accomplished very little, this did not prevent the hearing from being dramatic, according to CBS News.

 

Shkreli, though mostly silent during the questioning or declining comment, laughed openly at the members of Congress. He reclined, posed for pictures and smirked, even while ranking panel members were speaking.

Martin Shkreli

This behavior was denounced by both the Congressional committee and Shkreli’s own attorney who said, “a jury would love to convict somebody if he acts the same way on trial.”

 

Rep. John Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.) was angered by Shkreli’s “childish smart-alecky smirks” during the proceedings.

 

After a Brooklyn court hearing for his indictment on alleged securities fraud, Shkreli and his attorney made it clear that they planned to use the Fifth Amendment at the Congressional hearing, CNBC reported. Additionally, Shkreli hoped not to have to show up.

 

Congress assured the legal team that Shkreli would have to show up regardless, and so the pharmaceutical representative made the trip from New York to Washington, D.C.

 

After the hearing in New York for his criminal case, Shkreli’s attorney implored Shkreli to remain silent about the trial and Congressional hearing, according to CNBC.

 

Shkreli did not heed his legal team’s requests.  Although he was silent during the Congressional hearing, he did not refrain from taking to social media to voice his controversial opinions as he is infamous for doing.

 

“I am confident I will prevail,” he wrote on Twitter. “The allegations against me are baseless and without merit.”

Martin Shkreli

According to CNBC, Shkreli’s pharmaceutical company, KaloBios, fired him as the CEO, and their stocks plummeted from $40 per share to $2 per share.

 

Also, Shkreli’s E-Trade  investment portfolio, which was once valued at $45 million and was used to front his $5 million bond, is now worth only $4 million.

 

Editor’s Note: Information from Forbes Magazine, CBS News, CNN and CNBC was used in this report.