Dozens of prospective jurors beg off 'Pharma Bro' case

Wade Massey
June 28, 2017

Prospective jurors claim they couldn't be impartial.

One of them called him "the face of corporate greed". Outrage over that unrelated move spilled into the courtroom today and stands to slow progress of the fraud trial.

Blanton was one of several investors who collectively raised $3 million in 2011 to allow MSMB to launch its own drug company, Retrophin in 2011. Prosecutors say that after Shkreli lost millions of dollars through bad trades through his side business hedge fund, he looted a second pharmaceutical company for $11 million to pay them back.

Martin Shkreli, center, the former pharmaceutical CEO who became a pariah after raising the cost of a life-saving drug 5,000 percent, is the focus of media attention as he arrives at federal court in the Brooklyn borough of NY, for jury selection in his trial.

Benjamin Brafman, who is representing Shkreli, told FiercePharma in an email that he objected to the private sidebars because he was concerned that the resulting press reports would prejudice the case going forward.

"I'm anticipating an article, a piece, that will further complicate the already complicated job of defending someone people feel so strongly about", Shkreli's attorney Ben Brafman said.

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"This is the price gouger of drugs".

"I know he's the most hated man in America, in my opinion", for what he did with Daraprin, a female prospective juror said, before the judge excused her. One by one, potential jurors huddled with the judge and the lawyers, WCBS 880's Peter Haskell reported. But if the first day of jury selection is any indication, he's unlikely to have much luck finding average citizens who can maintain a neutral stance on the controversial life sciences investor.

Shkreli faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

Shkreli's trial is expected to last four to six weeks, according to the AP. Turing did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fierce.

Katherine Bolger, a lawyer representing a group of media outlets, argued via telephone against barring the pool reporter from listening to jurors being questioned out of the earshot of the gallery.

Matsumoto seemed delighted when she finally came across a woman in her 20s who said she hadn't heard of Shkreli or his case.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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