Prosecutors: Martin Shkreli could face more fraud charges

Prosecutors: Martin Shkreli could face more fraud charges
© Getty Images

Embattled former pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli could face additional criminal charges in a closely watched fraud case, a federal prosecutor said Tuesday. 

Prosecutors told a judge at a hearing in Brooklyn they may pursue additional securities fraud charges in the next month, according to a report by Reuters

Shkreli, a 33-year-old hedge fund manager, was arrested last December for his involvement with another drugmaker, Retrophin, which federal prosecutors said he operated like a quasi-Ponzi scheme.

ADVERTISEMENT

The former Turing Pharmaceuticals executive became subject to national scorn after he raised the costs of a life-saving drug called Darpin by more than 5,000 percent last year, and buoyantly touted the profits on social media.

He also boasted on Twitter this week about some of his supporters “traveling 5+ hours” to see him in court Tuesday morning. “Thanks for all the support,” he wrote.

The additional charges could raise the profile of a controversial CEO who has become a major problem for D.C.’s leading drug lobby, PhRMA.

Shkreli’s pricing tactics, which have been mirrored by companies like Valeant Pharmaceuticals, have become the target of congressional investigations into price-gouging. He was also personally condemned on the campaign trail by presidential candidates including Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWill the Horowitz report split the baby? Gabbard commemorates John Lennon's passing by singing 'Imagine' Bannon: Clinton waiting to enter 2020 race and 'save the Democratic Party from Michael Bloomberg' MORE and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpLawmakers prep ahead of impeachment hearing Democrats gear up for high-stakes Judiciary hearing Warren says she made almost M from legal work over past three decades MORE.

Both Turing and Valeant have helped spark a national debate on drug prices that has put leading drugmakers in an awkward spot in a pivotal election year. Neither company is an official member of PhRMA.