Pharmaceutical industry pro calls Martin Shkreli a ‘pied piper’ — ‘he sings songs & everyone follows him’
Stephen Aselage testified Thursday at Martin Shkreli’s (pictured) ongoing securities fraud trial that by early 2013 he’d gotten fed up with being cut out of the loop, while he was CEO of Shkreli’s fledgling pharmaceutical company.
A seasoned pharmaceutical industry pro nearing retirement told jurors there was a time when he was ready to bail on Martin Shkreli — but he somehow got pulled back into the Pharma Bro’s orbit.
Stephen Aselage testified Thursday at Shkreli’s ongoing securities fraud trial that by early 2013 he’d gotten fed up with being cut out of the loop, while he was CEO of Shkreli’s fledgling pharmaceutical company. Aselage, 66, still stayed on the board of Retrophin.
Aselage called Shkreli “a brilliant intellect, visionary," adding that one of his senior managers called Shkreli "the pied piper. He tells stories, sings songs and everybody follows him."
Those powers of persuasion that were a "unique talent." said Aselage, who’s been Retrophin’s CEO since Shkreli got pushed out in 2014.
Brooklyn federal prosecutors say Shkreli, 34, scammed investors into throwing money into his hedge funds. When Shkreli couldn’t pay them back, prosecutors claim Shkreli turned Retrophin into the kitty for his past failures.
Aselage recalled watching Shkreli in action, trying to raise money for a certain deal. There were times when Shkreli "came across as a guy who could knock down walls to make Retrophin successful."
Then there were times when Shkreli didn’t seem as credible, speaking to issues outside his reach, Aselage explained.
Jurors also heard from one of Shkreli’s investors, David Geller.
Geller put in $200,000 with Shkreli’s hedge fund and ended up with about $615,000 in cash and sold Retrophin stocks.
The pay-out was much longer in the making than Shkreli said it’d be, Geller claimed.
On cross examination, Geller said he didn’t have another investment that tripled in value.