Pharma bro Martin Shkreli in court as securities fraud case moves closer to trial

Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer for Turing Pharmaceuticals AG, left, arrives at Federal Court with his attorney Benjamin Brafman in Brooklyn, New York, U.S, on Thursday, July 14, 2016.
Victor J. Blue | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Pharma bro Martin Shkreli and his now ex-lawyer definitely want to be tried separately on criminal charges.

Lawyers for Shkreli and his co-defendant Evan Greebel confirmed Thursday that the duo want separate juries to decide their fate on fraud and conspiracy charges in Brooklyn federal court.

If Judge Kiyo Matsumoto agrees, Shkreli would be tried first starting June 26. Greebel's trial will take place in October.

If Matsumoto denies the severance motions, the joint trial will begin June 26. Severance motions by both men are due Feb. 17.

Regarding the motion to sever, Greebel's lawyer, Reed Brodsky, commented that he is "working on it now, it's going to take another month to work on. It's a very substantive motion."

Both Shkreli and Greebel appeared Thursday for a hearing that lasted just 15 minutes.

Shkreli is accused of looting the pharmaceuticals firm he previously headed, Retrophin, of about $11 million in order to pay off investors in his hedge funds whom he allegedly had defrauded.

Shkreli, 33, has indicated he may, as the basis for his defense, blame his former lawyer and current co-defendant, Greebel, for giving him legal advice that led Shkreli to take actions that prosecutors claim was criminal.

Shkreli first gained public notoriety in the summer of 2015, after Turing Pharmaceuticals, which he then headed, raised the price of its drug Daraprim from $13.50 per pill to $750. Shkreli defended the price hike as justified. Daraprim is used to treat parasitic infections seen in people with HIV, as well as in pregnant women and infants.

The judge in his criminal case recently allowed Shkreli, who is free on $5 million bond, to travel to California, Washington, D.C., and New Jersey for a series of events.

Shkreli's scheduled speaking appearance with controversial Breitbart columnist Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California, Davis, earlier this month, was cancelled after protesters disrupted the event.

Shkreli was suspended from Twitter earlier this month after a freelance reporter accused him of harassing her on that social media platform.