The Federal Trade Commission asked a federal court on Friday to hold “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli in contempt after Shkreli allegedly dismissed a recent FTC investigation into his business dealings and failed to make a $64.6 million payment he owed for his previous offences.
The FTC’s contempt proposal follows what the agency described as Its an unsuccessful attempts to confirm whether Shkreli has violated a court order barring him from working in the pharmaceutical industry again.
Brianne Murphy, an attorney for Shkreli, called the issue with the FTC a misunderstanding that “can be resolved relatively quickly as we get additional information and context to them.” Murphy added that Shkreli’s new business does not run afoul of the court order because the new company “is a software company, rather than a drug company.”
Shkreli was released from federal prison last year after serving a shortened sentence. He was convicted of securities fraud in 2017 for mishandling two investment funds.
Shkreli also infamously raised prices for 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 several publications. More recently, he was the subject of a 134-page ruling in 2022 by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York barring him for life from participating in the pharmaceutical industry, as part of a separate FTC antitrust case against him.
The legally binding order sparked 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 schedule an interview about the matter, Shkreli repeatedly missed deadlines and was allegedly slow with his responses, according to an FTC court report Friday.
“Shkreli has not attempted — much less ‘diligently,’ as Second Circuit law requires — to reasonably comply with the order,” the filing said.
The FTC also said that Shkreli had been ordered to pay his multimillion-dollar settlement — representing a repayment of his ill-gotten gains from Daraprim — by March 6, 2022. But in fact, the FTC said, “to date, he has not paid anything toward the judgment , and has made no attempt to comply with this provision in the order.”
Regarding his involvement with Druglike, the FTC added: “Shkreli’s noncompliance is also clear and unequivocal: Shkreli has not submitted a supplemental compliance report, provided access to relevant documents, or made himself available for an interview.”