Martin Shkreli, the “Pharma Bro” and former hedge fund manager, was ordered by a federal judge on Friday to pay back over $64 million in profits accrued from his Turing Pharmaceuticals company. He was also banned from working in the industry for life.
During his short tenure as CEO, Shkreli shook the pharmaceutical industry when he jacked up the price of Daraprim – a drug used to treat dangerous parasites and infections caused by HIV – from $13.50 to $750 per pill.
He was later indicted on securities fraud, with prosecutors calling his company “like a Ponzi scheme” designed to defraud investors.
“Through his tight control of the distribution of Daraprim, Shkreli prevented generic drug companies from getting access to the quantity of Daraprim they needed to conduct testing demanded by the Food and Drug Administration,” the judge wrote. “Through these strategies, Shkreli delayed the entry of generic competition for at least eighteen months… and his companies profited over $64 million from this scheme.”
The latest ruling by the U.S. District Court in Manhattan came from the Federal Trade Commission, in response to the $40 million that Turing Pharmaceuticals–now rebranded as Vyera–owed in settlements.
“Americans can rest easy because Martin Shkreli is a pharma bro no more,” New York Attorney General Letitia James stated.
Martin Shkreli’s former business partner at Turing, Kevin Mulleady, also agreed to be barred from the world of pharmaceuticals for seven years. He will be forced to pay a fine of $250,000 should he violate the agreement.
Incarcerated since 2018, the disgraced CEO is currently finishing a seven-year sentence at FCC Allenwood in Pennsylvania. At his initial hearing, he reportedly cried and stated that he was “was never motivated by money.”
Judge Kiyo Matsumoto surprisingly felt that Martin Shkreli was “genuinely remorseful” despite his “egregious multitude of lies,” but later stated that he believed Shkreli “repeatedly minimized” his gross misconduct.
According to ABC News, however, Shkreli believed that his drug price hike was simply “capitalism at work,” and that everyone who truly needed the drug would somehow be able to get it through their insurance company.
His behavior and rhetoric at the time angered the media and politicians, forcing him to resign in 2015, a day after he was arrested for securities fraud.
Back in Apr. 2020, Shkreli allegedly asked to be allowed to live at his fiancee’s apartment due to the dangers of Covid-19, while also suggesting that he could use his pharmaceutical connections to help develop a vaccine.
Judge Matsumoto reportedly denied his request and stated that it was further evidence of his “delusional self-aggrandizing behavior.”
Since 2016, Martin Shkreli has also been ordered to pay over $1.26 million in unpaid taxes, and hundreds of thousands in forfeited possessions such as a $134,500 Enigma machine, a manuscript signed by Isaac Newton, a letter from Charles Darwin, a Pablo Picasso painting, and the 31-track Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, of which there is only one in existence.
During the 2016 presidential election cycle, he stated that he would release the album for free online if Donald Trump won but destroy it if Hillary Clinton won. After Trump was elected, he shared a bit of one track before it was promptly deleted. Back in October, hip-hop producer RZA told reporters that he regretted selling the record to “the wrong hands.”
This past Summer, the U.S. government auctioned off the rare Wu-Tang Clan record to an undisclosed buyer, stating that “with today’s sale of this one-of-a-kind album, his payment of the forfeiture is now complete.”
At the time of his indictment, Martin Shkreli reportedly had a net worth of over $70 million. He also owned stock in Turing Pharmaceuticals worth between $30 and $50 million.