Martin Shkreli won't learn the verdict in his criminal case on Friday, but what gets said during the day could make a big difference in what the verdict in his securities fraud case ultimately turns out to be.
Shkreli, 34, is due to appear in federal court in Brooklyn for a hearing on two legal requests to a judge, whose rulings potentially could affect how a jury views the notorious pharma bro at trial.
His first request is to be allowed to mount a defense that will, in effect, claim that he is innocent because he was relying on the advice of his then-business lawyer when he allegedly committed the actions that now form the basis of the charges against him.
This so-called reliance on counsel defense would point the finger of blame at Shkreli's former lawyer, Evan Greebel, who is charged with Shkreli in the case.
Prosecutors accuse them of conspiring to loot a drug company that Shkreli founded, Retrophin, out of millions of dollars, in part to pay off investors that Shkreli was accused of defrauding at hedge funds that he ran.
Both men have pleaded not guilty.
If Judge Kiyo Matsumoto grants Shkreli permission to use the reliance of counsel defense, it would give his lawyers a potentially powerful tool to fight the charges at trial.
If jurors are confused by the series of financial transactions that are at the core of the
If there are separate trials, both men could potentially avoid a spillover effect at a joint trial, where jurors have difficulty distinguishing between the two men's conduct. If they are tried in a single trial, defense lawyers will have to take particular pains to make sure jurors don't do that.
The accusations in the pending criminal case are unrelated to the controversy that first brought Shkreli national notoriety: his having hiked the price of an antiparasite drug by more than 5,000 percent after acquiring it for his other company, Turing Pharmaceuticals.
However, Shkreli's brazen defense of his price hike, and his many antics on social media and in the conventional press since then could bolster Greebel's bid for a separate trial.
In a legal filing in February, lawyers for Greebel called Shkreli a serial liar who "is guilty of committing fraud," and who has purposefully created a media "circus" to distract jurors from the evidence against him.
Shkreli has an "extraordinary amount of negative notoriety,"