The Federal Trade Commission asked Friday whether notorious “Pharma Brother” Martin Shkreli would be held in contempt of court after founding a new drug company in violation of a judge’s ban on the convicted counterfeiter from working in the pharmaceutical industry. is to make.
Shkreli, who was released from prison last year, was banned “for life, directly or indirectly” in February.
participate in the pharmaceutical industry in any way as a result of the FTC’s antitrust lawsuit against him and a previous pharmaceutical company he founded”.
The order stems from a January 2022 ruling by Manhattan federal court judge Dennis Cote that Shkreli oversaw an illegal scheme to maintain a monopoly on the life-saving drug Daraprim, which continued even as he pleaded guilty to an unrelated securities fraud case. Was in jail for his sentence.
In its court filing Friday, the FTC noted that in July Shkreli announced the formation of a new company, Druglike, “that appears to be involved in the drug industry.”
The filing cited DrugLike’s press release in that announcement, which called the company “a Web3 drug discovery software platform co-founded by Martin Shkreli.”
The FTC said the creation of the company, as well as Shkreli’s failure to pay his share of about $25 million in the $64.6 million lawsuit, suggest he is violating court orders in the case.
The FTC and a group of states sued Shkreli, saying he failed to comply with their requests to provide them with documents and an interview on whether his involvement in DrugLike violated the quota order. Industry.
The FTC said Cote’s order requires Shkreli to provide that information to the agency.
“Martin Shkreli’s failure to comply with the court’s order shows a clear disregard for the law,” Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s Office of Competition, said in a statement.
“The FTC will not hesitate to deploy full access to its officers to allow for a thorough investigation of any potential misconduct,” Vedova said.
Shkreli’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, declined to comment on the FTC’s filing.
Shkreli earned widespread notoriety in mid-2015 when his pharmaceutical company, now known as Vera Pharmaceuticals, sold an anti-parasitic drug used to treat pregnant women, infants and people with HIV. The price of Daraprim increased unintentionally. , over 4000%, from $17.50 per pill to $750.
In December 2015, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, criminally charged Shkreli in connection with misleading investors in two hedge funds and manipulating the stock of another. company that founded Retrophin, now known as Teraputica Trevere,
Shkreli was convicted at trial in mid-2017 on various charges in that case. His $5 million post-trial release bond was revoked weeks later after a judge offered a $5,000 cash reward to his Facebook followers if they could help him find former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s hair. Used to provide samples of.
Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2018. He was released to a federal rehabilitation center last May.
Shkreli was driven back from his Pennsylvania prison to New York by a friend, Edmund Sullivan, who previously served on Retrophin’s board of directors.
Sullivan is named in court documents in Shkreli’s criminal case as one of seven people who, at Shkreli’s direction, received thousands of shares in a shell company that was used as a vehicle to take Retrophin public. does. Sullivan was not charged with wrongdoing in the case.