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

A federal judge ruled Friday former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli should be barred “for life” from participating in the pharmaceutical industry and ordered him to pay nearly $65 million in fines to seven states.

The decision by US District Judge Denise Cote Friday was part of a civil case brought by the Federal Trade Commission, and attorneys general for New York, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, North Carolina and Virginia in 2020, who alleged Shkreli violated federal and state laws that ban anticompetitive conduct. A week-long trial took place in December, which Shkreli opted not to attend, according to the ruling.

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

CNN has reached out to attorneys for Shkreli for comment. He is currently serving a prison sentence on 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 out 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 forfeit nearly $7.4 million in assets along with a $75,000 fine.

Shkreli was reportedly continuing to run the remains of a drug company from prison, and Cote referenced in her ruling Shkreli communicated with executives using a contraband cell phone.

New York Attorney General Letita James, representing one of the states that will receive money from the fine, said in a statement the court’s decision puts corporate executives on notice her office is prepared to seek personal accountability for anticompetitive conduct that impedes people’s access to affordable medications.

“The rich and powerful don’t get to play by their own set of rules, so it seems that cash doesn’t rule everything around Mr. Shkreli,” James said in a statement. “New Yorkers can trust that my office will do everything possible to hold the powerful accountable, in addition to fighting to protect their health and their wallets.”

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