Martin Shkreli charged with contempt of FTC in drug case

Martin Shkreli, former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG (center), pauses during a media conversation with his lawyer Benjamin Brafman (right) in front of a federal court in the Brooklyn borough of New York, USA, on Friday, August 4. 2017.

Peter Foley | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Federal Trade Commission On Friday asked what notorious “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli will take place in contempt of court for setting up a new pharmaceutical company in violation of an injunction barring a convicted fraudster from working in the pharmaceutical industry.

Shkreli, who was released from prison last year, was banned in February “for life, directly or indirectly.
involved in any way in the pharmaceutical industry” as a result of an FTC antitrust lawsuit against him and a previous pharmaceutical company he founded.

This order stems from a ruling by Manhattan Federal Court Judge Denise Kot in January 2022 that Shkreli ran an illegal scheme to maintain a monopoly on the lifesaving drug Daraprim that continued even while he was in jail for his conviction in a securities fraud case. unrelated to the case.

In its lawsuit on Friday, the FTC noted that Shkreli announced in July the formation of a new company, Druglike, “which appears to be linked to the pharmaceutical industry.”

The agency said the lawsuit, as well as Shkreli’s failure to pay his share of nearly $25 million of the $64.6 million judgment owed to him in the lawsuit, suggest he is violating court orders in the case.

The Federal Trade Commission and the group of states that sued Shkreli said in a statement that he had not complied with their requests for documents and interviews as part of their investigation into whether his involvement in Druglink violated a Council ruling banning him from participating in industry.

The FTC said that under Kota’s order, Shkreli is required to provide the agency with this information.

“Martin Shkreli’s failure to comply with the court’s decision shows clear disregard for the law,” said Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s Competition Bureau.

“The FTC will not hesitate to use its full range of powers to ensure that any potential misconduct is fully investigated,” Vedova said.

Benjamin Brafman, Shkreli’s lawyer, declined to comment on the FTC’s statement.

Shkreli gained notoriety in mid-2015 when his pharmaceutical company, now known as Vyera Pharmaceuticals, shamelessly raised the price of daraprim, an antiparasitic drug used to treat pregnant women, infants, and people with HIV, by more than 4,000% from 17. 50 to 750 dollars per tablet.

In December 2015, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, filed criminal charges against Shkreli for misleading investors in two hedge funds he previously managed and for manipulating the shares of another the company he foundedRetrofin, now known as Travere Therapeutics.

Shkreli was convicted at trial in mid-2017 on several counts of the case. His $5 million post-litigation bail was revoked weeks after a judge offered his Facebook followers a $5,000 cash reward if they provided him with hair samples from former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

In 2018, Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in prison. Last May, he was transferred to a federal nursing home.

Shkreli was brought back to New York from a prison in Pennsylvania by a friend, Edmund Sullivan, who previously served on the Board of Directors of the Retrofin Company.

Sullivan is mentioned in court documents in the Shkreli criminal case as one of seven individuals who received, at the behest of Shkreli, thousands of shares in the shell company that Retrophin used as a medium for public circulation. Sullivan was not charged with a misdemeanor in this case.

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