Prosecutors: Martin Shkreli could face more fraud charges

Prosecutors: Martin Shkreli could face more fraud charges
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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.

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 ClintonAre Democrats turning Trump-like? The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? 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.