From prison, Shkreli sues—and settles with—Retrophin executives

shkreli
According to CNBC, Martin Shkreli filed the lawsuit May 31 in a Manhattan federal court soon after his transfer to a new prison in Pennsylvania. (House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform)

Martin Shkreli headed to prison last year on a seven-year sentence for securities fraud, but the “pharma bro” did not go quietly. He sued the former CEO of his former company Retrophin as well as two other executives in May, seeking at least $30 million in damages. Shkreli settled the suit Thursday for an undisclosed amount, CNBC reported. 

According to CNBC, Shkreli filed the lawsuit on May 31 in a Manhattan federal court soon after his transfer to a new prison in Pennsylvania. He named as defendants Retrophin’s ex-CEO Stephen Aselage, who is still a director there, Gary Lyons, chairman of the board, and Margaret Valeur-Jensen, the company’s ex-general counsel, claiming they “unceremoniously and illegally” ousted him from the company in 2014. 

“Defendants, who had little to do with the success of the company but were instead driven by their egos, jealousy, and greed, were successful in only one thing: creating and carrying out a scheme to oust Mr. Shkreli from the company for their selfish benefit,” the suit said. 

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RELATED: Pharma bro Martin Shkreli convicted of securities fraud 

Earlier this week, Shkreli’s lawyer, Edward Kang, filed notice that the complaint was “voluntarily dismissed, with prejudice,” meaning that Shkreli won’t be able to bring the same suit back to court. 

Though the terms of the settlement were not disclosed, Retrophin told CNBC that “Retrophin and Martin Shkreli have reached a settlement resolving all outstanding disputes between them.” The company will divulge more in its next quarterly filing, a Retrophin spokeswoman said. 

Shkreli was arrested in December 2015 and was eventually convicted of three of eight charges of securities fraud in August 2017. The following March, he was handed a seven-year sentence and ordered to pay a $75,000 fine. 

His charges were for securities fraud linked to his hedge funds and to Retrophin, but his notoriety for raising the price of the HIV-related med Daraprim by 5000% eclipsed them. In fact, he had become so reviled that the judge handling his trial had trouble finding jurors. Many prospective jurors admitted they could not be impartial, with individuals calling Shkreli a "snake" and "the face of corporate greed." Others still conflated his actions with drug price hikes in general, with three prospects lashing out at him for raising the price of EpiPens. 

His lawsuit against his former Retrophin colleagues came about a year after he allegedly started blogging biopharma tips from prison. It wasn’t ever clear if it actually was Shkreli behind the now-defunct blog, but the author claimed Shkreli sent his posts via TRULINCS, a limited email system used by corrections systems, to a friend, who then published them.

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