A lawyer charged along with notorious pharmacy bro Martin Shkreli in an alleged securities fraud conspiracy has knowledge of other uncharged crimes committed by Shkreli that are known to prosecutors, the lawyer’s own attorney said Friday.
And the lawyer, Evan Greebel, intends to take the stand to prove his own innocence and expose Shkreli’s many lies, his attorney said, during a hearing in Brooklyn federal court.
“We have every intention to do it,” said Reed Brodsky, the defense attorney representing Greebel.
Brodsky also vowed Friday to use Greebel’s knowledge of Shkreli’s purported criminal conduct on cross-examination if Shkreli dares to take the witness stand in his own defense.
“We will be duty-bound to destroy Mr. Shkreli’s credibility,” Brodsky said.
“We are going to get up and we are going to say that Mr. Shkreli is guilty,” Brodsky said. “He is a liar and a deceiver.”
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.
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.
Brodsky said that not only is Shkreli guilty of the crimes charged in the case, but also that he had engaged in “illegal” trading that federal prosecutors are unaware of, and that he had lied to the Securities and Exchange Commission during an interview in 2012, as well as other misconduct.
Brodsky said the crimes are evident to Greebel from documents that the government has obtained as evidence in the case but that prosecutors don’t realize their full significance because they don’t have Greebel’s knowledge of circumstances related to the paperwork.
Brodsky’s comments came as he asked Judge Kiyo Matsumoto to order that Greebel and Shkreli be tried separately because they have “mutually antagonistic” defenses, which would make it impossible for either man to get a fair trial if judged by a single jury.
Greebel’s defense, according to Brodsky, is that he was repeatedly lied to by Shkreli while representing Retrophin, and thus did not know that a number of Shkreli-orchestrated financial transactions were fraudulent.
“On every material point, he [Shkreli] lied to [Greebel]. And he deceived him,” Brodsky said.
“In this case, it’s going to be extraordinarily difficult for Mr. Greebel and Mr. Shkreli to get a fair trial,” Brodsky said. “We are going to be an echo chamber with the government in terms of Mr. Skreli’s lies.”
Shkreli’s lawyers are also asking for a separate trial.
One of his lawyers, Marc Agnifilo, said Friday that the threat of Greebel’s lawyer cross-examining Shkreli with information that has not been revealed, would have a “clear chilling effect on his right to testify.”
“We have no way of knowing what’s coming,” Agnifilo said.
Shkreli’s lawyers also have said they intend to use a so-called reliance on counsel defense, which would claim that Shkreli was relying on the advice of lawyers, including Greebel, when he allegedly committed the conduct that forms the basis of the charges.
Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer for Shkreli, noted during Friday’s hearing that Shkreli’s company had paid Greebel’s law firm almost $10 million for its extensive legal work, which was largely done by Greebel.
Greebel, Brafman said, is “trying very hard to distance himself from Mr. Shkreli.”
But, Brafman added, Greebel was “intimately involved in everything that happens.”
Shkreli relied on Greebel for his advice on the legality of his transactions, Brafman said. And “it is our position that he [Shkreli] never intended to defraud anyone.”
“My client had a very, very good lawyer, from a very prominent firm, which he paid $10 million for, for the distinction of getting indicted,” Brafman quipped.
Judge Matsumoto did not rule Friday on the severance motions. If she split the case into two trials, Shkreli would go on trial first, in late June. Greebel would be tried next fall.
Matsumoto said she would decide later on whether to hold a hearing on the question of whether Shkreli can raise a reliance on counsel defense at trial.