'Pharma bro' Martin Shkreli heads into fraud trial

NEW YORK, June 26 (Reuters) - Martin Shkreli, the pharmaceutical entrepreneur vilified as the "pharma bro" for raising the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000 percent, will go on trial on Monday for what U.S. prosecutors called a Ponzi-like scheme at his former hedge fund and a drug company he once ran.

Prosecutors have accused Shkreli of lying to investors in the hedge fund and siphoning millions of dollars in assets from biopharmaceutical company Retrophin Inc to repay them. He has pleaded not guilty.

The trial, which will be heard by U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto in Brooklyn, is expected to last four to six weeks.

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Shkreli, a boyish-looking 34, outraged patients and U.S. lawmakers by raising the price of anti-parisitic drug Daraprim to $750 a pill, from $13.50, in 2015, when he was chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals.

The charges that led to his arrest in December 2015 are not related to Turing but focus on Shkreli's management at Retrophin and the hedge fund MSMB Capital Management between 2009 and 2012.

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Martin Shkreli's outrageous faces during congressional hearing, Turing Pharmaceutical
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Martin Shkreli's outrageous faces during congressional hearing, Turing Pharmaceutical
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, reacts during a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on prescription drug prices in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Shkreli, who is no longer with Turing and faces federal fraud charges unrelated to the drugmaker, declined to make any comments to the committee. 'On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment,' Shkreli said. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Entrepreneur and pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli listens during a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Capitol Hill February 4, 2016 in Washington, DC. Martin Shkreli, the controversial former pharmaceuticals boss and hedge fund manager indicted on securities fraud charges, has been subpoenaed to appear at a hearing of a House of Representatives committee on oversight and government reform looking at the prescription drug market. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Entrepreneur and pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli waits for a car to pick him up after invoking his Fifth Amendment rights during a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Capitol Hill February 4, 2016 in Washington, DC. Martin Shkreli, the controversial former pharmaceuticals boss and hedge fund manager indicted on securities fraud charges, has been subpoenaed to appear at a hearing of a House of Representatives committee on oversight and government reform looking at the prescription drug market. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Entrepreneur and pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli (L) leaves with his lawyer Benjamin Brafman after invoking his 5th Amendment rights during a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Capitol Hill February 4, 2016 in Washington, DC. Martin Shkreli, the controversial former pharmaceuticals boss and hedge fund manager indicted on securities fraud charges, has been subpoenaed to appear at a hearing of a House of Representatives committee on oversight and government reform looking at the prescription drug market. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 04: Martin Shkreli, center, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, leaves a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in Rayburn Building on 'methods and reasoning behind recent drug price increases,' after invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, February 04, 2016. Turing had raised the price of Daraprim, a drug used by AIDS and cancer patients, from $13.50 to $750 a pill. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 04: Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC., is sworn in during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, February 4, 2016 in Washington, DC. Shkreli invoked his 5th Amendment right not to testify to the committee that is examining the prescription drug market. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, is sworn in during a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on prescription drug prices in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Shkreli, who is no longer with Turing and faces federal fraud charges unrelated to the drugmaker, declined to make any comments to the committee. 'On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment,' Shkreli said. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, reacts during a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on prescription drug prices in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Shkreli, who is no longer with Turing and faces federal fraud charges unrelated to the drugmaker, declined to make any comments to the committee. 'On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment,' Shkreli said. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
(L-R)Howard Schiller, interim CEO of Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., Nancy Retzlaff, chief commercial officer for Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, and Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, wait for a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Capitol Hill February 4, 2016 in Washington, DC. Martin Shkreli, the controversial former pharmaceuticals boss and hedge fund manager indicted on securities fraud charges, has been subpoenaed to appear at a hearing of a House of Representatives committee on oversight and government reform looking at the prescription drug market. / AFP / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 04: Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC., smiles while flanked by Nancy Retzlaff, chief commercial officer for Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC., during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, February 4, 2016 in Washington, DC. Shkreli invoked his 5th Amendment right not to testify to the committee that is examining the prescription drug market. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, smiles during a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on prescription drug prices in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Shkreli, who is no longer with Turing and faces federal fraud charges unrelated to the drugmaker, declined to make any comments to the committee. 'On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment,' Shkreli said. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, smiles during a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on prescription drug prices in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Shkreli, who is no longer with Turing and faces federal fraud charges unrelated to the drugmaker, declined to make any comments to the committee. 'On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment,' Shkreli said. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, left, listens as his attorney Benjamin Brafman speaks the media after a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on prescription drug prices in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Shkreli, who is no longer with Turing and faces federal fraud charges unrelated to the drugmaker, declined to make any comments to the committee. 'On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment,' Shkreli said. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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Prosecutors said Shkreli lied about MSMB's finances to lure investors and concealed devastating trading losses from them. They said he paid the investors back with money stolen from Retrophin, which he founded in 2011.

The criminal case has drawn attention in part because of Shkreli's refusal to lay low. He has continued to court the public eye, especially through social media, sometimes complicating his defense.

At a hearing last Monday, prosecutors refused to agree to Shkreli's request to reduce his bail by $3 million, which he said he needs to pay taxes and legal bills, pointing to his own public boasts about his wealth.

Since his arrest, Shkreli has flaunted purchases including a World War II-era Enigma code breaking machine, a Picasso painting and unreleased albums by Wu-Tang Clan and Lil Wayne.

In April, he offered $40,000 to a Princeton University student who solved a mathematical proof. In May, he pledged on Facebook to pay $100,000 for tips leading to the arrest of the person who killed former Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich.

Shkreli was banned from Twitter in January for harassing a female journalist who wrote an op-ed piece for Teen Vogue criticizing President Donald Trump, whom Shkreli has supported.

Shkreli's attention-seeking has at times exasperated his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, who urged Matsumoto last week not to give much weight to his client's "preposterous statements." (Reporting By Brendan Pierson; Editing by Bill Trott)

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