Martin Shkreli

MONEY & BUSINESS: FTC accuses ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli of flouting industry ban

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The Federal Trade Commission asked a judge to hold “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli in contempt of court after the infamous fraudster allegedly resisted efforts to determine whether he violated a lifetime ban from working in the pharmaceutical industry.

The agency said Shkreli, 39, hadn’t complied with its requests to submit documents and participate in an interview on his new company Druglike Inc., which “purports to revolutionize early-stage drug discovery through a decentralized computing network.”

“Martin Shkreli’s failure to comply with the court’s order demonstrates a clear disregard for the law,” Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, said in a statement. “The FTC will not hesitate to deploy the full scope of its authorities to enable a comprehensive investigation into any potential misconduct.”

Last February, Shkreli was permanently barred from “directly or indirectly
participating in any manner in the pharmaceutical industry” — a ban imposed after he was determined to have run an “illegal anticompetitive scheme” to maintain a monopoly on the life-saving drug Daraprim.

Martin Shkreli infamously jacked up the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim.
Getty Images

In addition to the ban, Shkreli was found liable for $64.6 million in penalties related to his effort to stifle rivals. The FTC said Shkreli has yet to repay any of the money.

The FTC alleged that Shkreli has “disregarded the agency’s repeated requests” for information meant to determine whether he was violating the court-ordered ban.

An attorney for Shkreli, Brianne Murphy, said Druglike is a software company rather than a pharmaceutical company and said the legal team is aiming for a swift resolution to the dispute.

Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli is banned from working in the pharmaceutical industry.
Stephen Yang

“We think that this is a misunderstanding with the FTC,” Murphy said.

Shkreli became a reviled figure in 2015 after he raised the price of a single pill of Draraprim from $13.50 to $750 while serving as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals. He was later sentenced to seven years in prison after being convicted on charges of defrauding investors in two hedge funds he had previously led.

Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission said Shkreli hasn’t paid a penalty of more than $64 million.
AP

Shkreli was released early from prison last May. Since his release, Shkreli has angled to start a rap career and provided some advice to disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried on how to handle a potential stint in jail.

US District Judge Denise Cote, who imposed the lifetime ban and fine, will make the determination as to whether Shkreli should be held in contempt.

With Post wires



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