Martin Shkreli smirked and rolled his eyes while Rep. Elijah Cummings berated the former drug CEO for operating a Ponzi-like scheme.
“It’s not funny Mr. Shkreli,” Cummings said during a House Oversight Committee hearing on Thursday. “People are dying and they’re getting sicker and sicker.”
Despite being berated, Shkreli continued to smirk at his accuser.
Cummings said Turing Pharmaceuticals, which Shkreli used to run, had been dealing in “blood money.”
After taking over the company Shkreli purchased Daraprim, a toxoplasmosis treatment used by AIDS patients. He immediately increased the cost of that drug by 5000%.
“Like a Ponzi scheme, it appears that Turing might be using profits from Daraprim to invest in new drugs that it would then jack up prices for,” Cummings said.
Cummings then personally attacked the Turing CEO for his lavish spending, including the $2 million purchase of the Wu-Tang Clan’s single pressing of the new album, “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.”
“My constituents. They don’t buy Wu-Tang Clan albums,” Cummings said. “They live paycheck to paycheck.”
When pressed for questions Shkreli gave the answer everyone was expecting.
“On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and respectfully decline to answer your question,” Shkreli said repeatedly.
During the intense period of questioning Shkreli continued to roll his eyes, fiddling with a pencil, and refusing to look at any of the committee members.
Rep. Trey Gowdy did briefly get an answer out of the former drug CEO, but only when asked for the proper pronunciation of his name.
In one unbelievable moment, Brafman held a brief press conference, in which he called Shkreli a “hero.”
Brafman said that Shkreli had badly wanted to answer Congress’ questions but instead followed his advice to refuse testimony.
Shkreli took to Twitter immediately after the hearing, tweeting that it was “hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government.”
Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government.
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) February 4, 2016
Shkreli is also facing securities fraud charges involving Retrophin, another biotech company that he ran several years ago.
He has been accused of using that company as his own personal piggy bank while running an alleged ponzi scheme.