Martin Shkreli might not be able to sell that Wu Tang Clan album after Federal prosecutors late Thursday moved to revoke his bail, claiming that the former pharmaceutical company CEO and purported “most hated man in the world” repeatedly threatened and harassed former secretary of state Hillary Clinton on line.
Specifically, the Feds were incensed by what Shkreli says was intended to be a humorous post on his Facebook page offering a $5,000 bounty to anyone who could “grab” some of Clinton’s hair for him during her upcoming book tour.
“Shkreli’s latest threat is concerning not only because it has required a significant expenditure of resources by the United States Secret Service, which is charged with protecting Secretary Clinton, but also because there is a significant risk that one of his many social media followers or others who learn of his offers through the media will take his statements seriously — as has happened previously — and act on them,” prosecutors wrote in a legal motion.”
US District Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, who presided over Shkreli’s trial which ended in him being convicted on three of eight counts of securities fraud-related offenses, ordered his legal team to file a response. She scheduled a Sept. 14 hearing for legal arguments on the issue.
Here’s the post in question:
True to form, Shkreli trolled prosecutors in response published to his Facebook page: “Hillary Cliinton’s presumptive agents are hard at work. It was just a prank, bro! But still, lock HER up. Spend your resources investigating her, not me!!”
According to USA Today, prosecutors also said Shkreli had continued to harass journalist Lauren Duca.
Shkreli had previously been banned from Twitter earlier this year, allegedly for harassing Duca, a freelance writer who had authored an opinion essay that criticized President-elect Trump. The day before his verdict, Shkreli wrote in a Facebook post: “trial’s over tomorrow, b****. Then if I’m acquitted, I get to f*** Lauren Duca.”
Secret Service agents sought to question Shkreki about his post, but he declined to meet with them, prosecutors wrote.
In what sounds to us like they’re reaching for justification, prosecutors cited a USA Today story recounting how a graduate student solved a complex mathematical proof after Shkreli offered a $40,000 scholarship to anyone who could.
“Shkreli’s own prior actions, and his influence over others who have previously acted in reliance on his statements, demonstrate why the government views his latest actions with concern,” prosecutors concluded in their bail revocation motion.
According to Bloomberg, Shkreli edited the Facebook post, saying it was “satire, meant for humor” after it was reported in the media.
His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said that while Shkreli’s posts may have been “inappropriate,” his client didn’t intend to harm anybody.
“We take the matter seriously and intend to address the issue responsibly,” Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer for Shkreli, said in an email Thursday night. “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.”
Is it really any surprise that federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, where Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was based and where Clinton friend (co-conspirator?) and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch once served as US attorney, are unwilling to let a joke about Clinton slide? Even if Shkreli remains free, the complaint is sure to cost him tens of thousands more in legal fees. Perhaps that’s the ultimate goal.