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Ex-pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli faces more charges

By Allen Cone
Ex-pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli faces more charges
Former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli was arrested in December for alleged financial irregularities with Retrophin. He may face more charges related to the case. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, May 3 (UPI) -- Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical CEO who hiked the price of a life-saving drug by 5000 percent, likely is facing additional charges in a securities fraud case linked to another company.

Shkreli, appearing in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn on Tuesday on existing charges related to Retrophin Inc., might be indicted by next month on additional unspecified charges, according to the prosecutor in the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Winston Paes. He was CEO of Retrophin until he was sued by the board of directors and fired.

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Another hearing has been set for June 6.

"I think today was a good day for Martin Shkreli," his attorney, Ben Brafman, said after the hearing Tuesday. "We do not think the indictment will change in any way or affect Mr. Shkreli in any way. I don't want to talk about an indictment that I have not seen."

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In December, Shkreli, 32, was arrested for securities fraud at Retrophin, which he founded in 2011. Prosecutors allege he illegally took stock from the biotechnology firm and used that to pay debts from unrelated business dealings.

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He is not on trial for his role in jacking up the price of Daraprim, a treatment for cancer and AIDS patients. The former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals acquired the drug, which was first developed in 1953, and the company immediately increased the price of the drug from $13.50 per pill to $750 -- a more than 5,000 percent increase.

Shkreli has defended that as a necessary move to maintain profits for further medical research.

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In the current charges, Shkreli and his co-defendant, Evan Greebel, used investor funds from Retrophin to pay more than $7.6 million "through sham consulting agreements" to settle investors' claims from failed hedge funds.

Brafman said that the defense has been inundated with 70 gigabytes of documents.

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