FTC asks federal court to hold ‘pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli in contempt | CNN Business
On Friday, the Federal Trade Commission asked a federal court to hold “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli in contempt after Shkreli allegedly discredited a recent FTC investigation into his dealings and failed to make a $64.6 million payment of dollars he owed for his previous crimes.
The FTC’s contempt motion follows what the agency described as its one unsuccessful attempt to verify whether Shkreli has violated a court order barring him from working in the pharmaceutical industry again.
Brianne Murphy, Shkreli’s lawyer, called the issue with the FTC a misunderstanding that “can be resolved relatively quickly once we get additional information and context.” Murphy added that Shkreli’s new business does not violate the court order because the new company “is a software company, rather than a pharmaceutical company.”
Shkreli was released from federal prison last year after serving a reduced sentence. He was convicted of securities fraud in 2017 for mismanaging two mutual funds.
Shkreli also infamously raised the prices of the life-saving drug Daraprim by 4,000% while head of Turing Pharmaceuticals. His behavior earned him the title of “most hated man in America” by multiple publications. Most recently, he was the subject of a 134-page ruling in 2022 by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that banned him for life from participating in the pharmaceutical industry, as part of a separate case of the FTC antitrust against him.
That legally binding order triggered a new investigation into Shkreli’s activities in October, when public reports indicated he had co-founded a new “Web3 drug discovery software platform” known as Druglike, Inc.
When the FTC emailed Shkreli to obtain documents from him and to schedule an interview about the matter, Shkreli repeatedly missed deadlines and was allegedly slow to respond, according to a court filing. FTC Friday.
“Shkreli has not attempted, much less ‘diligently,’ as Second Circuit law requires, to comply with the Order in a reasonable manner,” the filing said.
The FTC also said Shkreli had been ordered to make his multimillion-dollar payment, which represents a refund of his illicit Daraprim earnings, by March 6, 2022. But in fact, the FTC say, “so far he has paid nothing towards the judgment and has made no effort to comply with this provision of the Order.”
Regarding its involvement with Druglike, the FTC added: “Shkreli’s noncompliance is also clear and unambiguous: Shkreli has failed to file an additional compliance report, provide access to relevant documents, or put available for an interview.”