'Pharma bro' Martin Shkreli sues company he founded for $30 million

'Pharma bro' Martin Shkreli sues company he founded for $30 million
© Greg Nash

“Pharma bro” Martin Shkreli sued the pharmaceutical company he founded for $30 million Friday, accusing its directors of using fraud to oust him from the organization’s leadership in 2014.

Shkreli filed the suit in federal court in Manhattan just days after he was transferred to a new prison in Pennsylvania. He is currently serving a seven-year sentence for securities fraud related to his two defunct hedge funds and to the pharmaceutical company Retrophin, which was created after the funds crumbled.


Shkreli named Gary Lyons, Retrophin’s chairman of the board of directors, former company CEO and current director Stephen Aselage and Margaret Valeur-Jensen, the company’s former top lawyer.

“After starting a biopharmaceutical company from scratch and turning it into a successful enterprise worth hundreds of millions of dollars, Mr. Shkreli was unceremoniously and illegally ousted from the company at the hands of Defendants,” the suit claims.

“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,” it continues. “Indeed, the only people who benefited from Mr. Shkreli’s ouster were the three Defendants and a few other people they recruited.”

Shkreli first gained notoriety in 2015 for hiking the price of the drug Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent while he helmed Turing Pharmaceuticals, which he founded after leaving Retrophin and is now known as Phoenixus AG. The medication is used to treat a parasite found in pregnant women, babies and HIV patients. 

A jury convicted Shkreli in August 2017 on three criminal counts. He was initially released on a $5 million bond, though it was revoked after a judge ruled him to be a danger when he offered Facebook followers samples of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBloomberg called Warren 'scary,' knocked Obama's first term in leaked audio Trump trails Democratic challengers among Catholic voters: poll Sanders under fire from Democrats over praise for Castro regime MORE’s hair for $5,000. 

He began serving his time in a prison in New Jersey last year but was transferred to a federal jail in Brooklyn two months ago after it was revealed he was still helping run Phoenixus from behind bars.