Pharma bro Martin Shkreli will be tried separately from his former business lawyer on securities fraud charges, a federal judge said Wednesday.
Shkreli will go on trial first. His co-defendant in the case, Evan Greebel, will be tried at a later date to be determined.
Brooklyn U.S. District Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto’s decision came less than two weeks after a hearing where lawyers for both Shkreli and Greebel requested their cases be tried separately.
At that hearing, Greebel’s lawyer, Reed Brodsky, warned Matsumoto that in addition to proclaiming Greebel’s innocence, he would attack Shkreli as “a liar and a deceiver” who was guilty not only of the charged conduct, but also of other alleged crimes.
Shkreli’s lawyers, in a prepared statement issued after the severance motion was granted Wednesday, said, “We are very pleased by the court’s decision. While severance is very rarely granted, we believe that Judge Matsumoto did exactly what the law required in this very unique prosecution, where Mr. Shkreli was to be tried together with the lawyer whose advice he relied on during the period charged in the indictment.”
“A severance is the only way Martin Shkreli could receive a fair trial.”
CNBC has reached out to comment from Greebel’s lawyer.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, which is prosecuting the cases, had no comment.
Both men have pleaded not guilty in the cases.
Prosecutors accuse Shkreli, with Greebel’s assistance, of looting a pharmaceuticals firm he had founded, Retrophin, out of millions of dollars to pay off investors he was accused of defrauding at hedge funds he had operated. Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
This story is developing. Please check back for further updates.