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Prosecutors Seek to Revoke Martin Shkreli's Bail for Hillary Clinton 'Threats'

8 Sep 2017 4:07 am
By Rebecca Davis O'Brien 

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have asked a judge to revoke bail for Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical executive convicted last month on securities-fraud charges, citing Mr. Shkreli's "escalating pattern of threats and harassment," including an apparent threat to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In a court filing late Thursday night, prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto to have Mr. Shkreli detained until his sentencing. The filing came several days after Mr. Shkreli posted a message on his Facebook page in which he urged his followers to "grab a hair" from Mrs. Clinton while she is on her coming book tour. In the post, he offered $5,000 per strand of hair.

"[T]he defendant's threats create a risk of danger to the community," prosecutors wrote, adding that his "egregious public behavior shows that he has no respect for the law and will not abide by any conditions or combination of conditions for release."

Ben Brafman, a lawyer for Mr. Shkreli, said he would address the government's request in a court filing Friday. "However inappropriate some of Mr. Shkreli's postings may have been, we do not believe that he intended harm and do not believe that he poses a danger to the community."

In a post on his Facebook page Thursday night, Mr. Shkreli described his comments regarding Mrs. Clinton as "just a prank, bro." He added criticism of the government: "I will never kiss their ring or snitch. Come at me with your hardest because I haven't seen anything impressive yet."

Mr. Shkreli had earlier amended his initial post about Mrs. Clinton, describing it as "satire," according to the government's filing. "As a result of Shkreli's threat, the Secret Service launched an investigation and has informed the government that it has expended significant additional resources to ensure Secretary Clinton's protection," prosecutors wrote.

Mr. Shkreli was convicted on Aug. 4 of three counts in a securities-fraud trial, stemming from his management of two hedge funds and a pharmaceutical company. But he achieved notoriety years before that, for hiking up the price of lifesaving drugs and for his online provocations, including taunting reporters and politicians, including Mrs. Clinton.

He has remained free on $5 million bail. He is scheduled to be sentenced later this fall.

Judge Matsumoto scheduled a hearing on the matter for next week in connection with the government's request to revoke bail.

Mr. Shkreli was banned from Twitter earlier this year, after a reporter said he was harassing her--an incident that the prosecutors detailed in their filing Thursday as evidence of his continued harassment of women online.

"The defendant has sometimes belatedly qualified his threats and harassment by describing them as jokes and demeaning his targets," the government wrote, adding that he has "sought to exploit" media coverage and bring his threats to a broad audience.

During his trial, Judge Matsumoto issued a partial gag order on Mr. Shkreli after he belittled the case in a conversation with reporters at the courthouse and used a Twitter alias to mock reporters and prosecutors.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 08, 2017 00:07 ET (04:07 GMT)

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