The Federal Trade Commission on Friday asked that notorious “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli be held in contempt of court for forming a new drug company in violation of a judge’s ban on the convicted fraudster from working in the pharmaceuticals industry.
Shkreli, who was released from prison last year, in February was banned “for life from directly or indirectly participating in any manner in the pharmaceutical industry” as a result of the FTC’s antitrust lawsuit against him and a prior drug company that he founded.
That order stemmed from Manhattan federal court Judge Denise Cote’s ruling that Shkreli oversaw an illegal scheme to maintain a monopoly on the life-saving drug Daraprim, which continued even as he saw in prison for his conviction in an unrelated securities fraud case.
In its court filing Friday, the FTC noted that Shkreli in July announced the formation of a new company, Druglike, “that appears to be involved in the drug industry.”
The agency said that action, as well as Shkreli’s failure to pay his nearly $25 million share of a $64.6 million judgment he owes in the lawsuit, suggest that he is violating the court’s orders in the case.
The FTC and a group of states that sued Shkreli said in the filing he has failed to comply with their requests to give them documents and submit to an interview as part of their probe into whether his involvement with Druglink violates the February 2022 court order banning him from the industry.
“Martin Shkreli’s failure to comply with the court’s order demonstrates a clear disregard for the law,” said Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, 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,” Vedova said.