Shkreli settles into his new prison digs in Pennsylvania with a $30M+ lawsuit against former Retrophin colleagues
“Pharma bro” Martin Shkreli is still ruffling feathers days after being transferred to his new crib at a Pennsylvania facility.
On Friday, a lawsuit filed in a federal court in Manhattan revealed that the notorious 36-year-old former hedge fund manager is seeking more than $30 million in damages against his three former colleagues at Retrophin, alleging they “illegally” ousted him as the drug developer’s chief in 2014.
The baby faced Shkreli — who once offered a $5,000 bounty for locks of Hillary Clinton’s hair — was thrust into the limelight in 2015, after the company he founded post Retrophin — Turing Pharmaceuticals — hiked up the price of a life-saving drug it did not develop by 5000% overnight after purchasing the rights to it. By 2017, he was convicted of securities fraud and handed a seven-year sentence.
He was originally placed at a low-security prison in Fort Dix, New Jersey. However, in March a Wall Street Journal investigation revealed that Shkreli was still “calling the shots” at Turing, now known as Phoenixus AG, using a contraband cell phone — triggering his transfer to a federal jail in Brooklyn, New York. Recently he was moved again to a jail in Pennsylvania.
According to the lawsuit, after Shkreli spawned and built Retrophin into a “successful enterprise worth hundreds of millions of dollars,” he was “unceremoniously and illegally ousted from the company”.
In the first quarter, Retrophin generated net product revenue of $39.6 million via the sales of three treatments: the kidney stone preventer Thiola; bile disorder drug Cholbam; and drug for gallbladder stones Chenodal.
“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 lawsuit said.
Shkreli — who purchased all the rights to a Wu Tang Clan for a cool $2 million before his prison sentence — in the suit is lashing out against: Retrophin’s board chairman Gary Lyons; former company CEO (and current director) Stephen Aselage; and the company’s former lawyer, Margaret Valeur-Jensen.
Image: Martin Shkreli after trial in 2017. Dennis Van Tine/MediaPunch/IPX via AP IMAGES