US FTC Claims That Martin Shkreli Destroyed Evidence

The Federal Trade Commission accused disgraced pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli on Tuesday, June 1, of having destroyed evidence relevant to a lawsuit that could lead to his lifetime ban from the industry. Regulators claim that the convicted fraudster invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when asked about a phone he used to conduct business from prison.

Currently incarcerated in a Pennsylvania federal prison following his securities fraud convictions some four years ago, Shkreli now faces civil litigation from state and US regulators about his decision to jack up the price of the live-saving drug Daraprim 40-fold, an act that earned him national scorn and the nickname “Pharma Bro.”

Shkreli never denied the dramatic hike, which he made as CEO of the company then-named Turing Pharmaceuticals, but regulators claim that the anticompetitive conduct continued after the 38-year-old went to prison and his company got a rebranding as Vyera.

“It is now clear that Shkreli destroyed messages on at least two phones that were relevant to his ongoing control of Vyera and to the anticompetitive conduct at issue in this case,” the Commission’s assistant director Markus Meier wrote in a three-page letter on Tuesday.

Citing reporting in the Wall Street Journal, regulators claim that Shkreli exercised “shadow power” over Vyera and its Swiss corporate parent Phoenixus from behind bars.

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