Judge bans ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli from pharmaceutical industry ‘for life’

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U.S. District Judge Denise Cote’s decision on Friday was part of a civil case brought by the Federal Trade Commission and the attorneys general of New York, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, North Carolina and Virginia in 2020, which have alleged that Shkreli violated federal and state laws that prohibit anti-competitive behavior. A week-long trial was held in December, which Shkreli chose not to attend, according to the ruling.

“Based on the trial evidence, Shkreli will be banned for life from participating in the pharmaceutical industry and will be ordered to disgorge $64.6 million in net profits for his wrongdoings,” Cote wrote in his ruling.

CNN has reached out to Shkreli’s attorneys for comment. He is currently serving time in prison for unrelated charges at a federal facility in Pennsylvania and is expected to be released in November, according to Bureau of Prisons online records.

Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy in 2017 for defrauding investors of more than $10 million between 2009 and 2014 in what prosecutors called a Ponzi scheme. In 2018, he was sentenced to seven years in federal prison and was ordered to confiscate nearly $7.4 million in assets as well as a $75,000 fine.
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Shkreli allegedly went on to run the remnants of a pharmaceutical company from prison, and Cote mentioned in his ruling that Shkreli communicated with executives using a contraband cellphone.

New York Attorney General Letita James, representing one of the states that will receive the fine money, said in a statement that the court ruling puts corporate executives on notice that her office is prepared to seek a personal liability for anti-competitive behavior that impedes people’s access to affordable medicines. .

“The rich and powerful cannot play by their own rules, so it seems money does not rule everything around Mr. Shkreli,” James said in a statement. “New Yorkers can be confident that my office will do everything possible to hold the powerful accountable, in addition to fighting to protect their health and their pocketbooks.”

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