New York AG pushing for lifetime Trump ban cites Martin Shkreli ruling


Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG, exits court in New York, US, on Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2023. 

Yuki Iwamura | Bloomberg | Getty Images

What does former President Donald Trump have in common with “Pharma bro” Martin Shkreli?

A penchant for harshly trolling their enemies online and an attorney general who wants both of them banned for life from their preferred business.

New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office on Tuesday notified the judge who presided over Trump’s civil business fraud trial about a new appeals court ruling against Shkreli, which the AG says supports its bid to permanently bar Trump from the state’s real estate industry.

In its ruling, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower New York federal court’s order banning Shkreli for life from the pharmaceuticals industry because of his efforts to block competition to a drug he hiked the price of by more than 4,000% overnight in 2015.

The ruling stemmed from an antitrust lawsuit James, the Federal Trade Commission, and six other states filed against Shkreli.

James is currently suing Trump in Manhattan state Supreme Court, alleging widespread, sustained fraud in how the former president, his company, and his two adult sons valued real estate assets to obtain more favorable loan terms.

James, in that case, asked Judge Arthur Engoron to ban Trump for life from the New York real estate industry and to bar his sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, from that sector for five years, along with fining them $360 million.

Engoron recently finished presiding over the trial in that case but has yet to issue a final ruling.

In a letter Tuesday to Engoron, Assistant Attorney General Colleen Faherty said, “We write to provide the Court with notice of supplemental authority: the recent Second Circuit decision in Fed. Trade Comm’n v. Shkreli.”

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Faherty noted that the AG’s closing trial presentation cited the 2022 Manhattan federal court judge’s order banning Shkreli from the drug business as a case that supports the call for a similar ban on Donald Trump.

“In its appellate review, the Second Circuit unanimously affirmed in full the district court’s order enjoining Martin Shkreli from participation in the pharmaceutical industry for life and ordering him to disgorge $64.6 million,” Faherty wrote.

Faherty attached a copy of the 2nd Circuit’s eight-page ruling to her letter, noting that it was not published yet on a legal database.

The legal linkage of Shkreli and Donald Trump comes more than eight years after they were first compared for their habit of sparking public outrage for their online and real-world comments — Donald Trump while seeking the presidency, and Shkreli while unapologetically raising the price of a life-saving drug by more than $700 per tablet.

At the time of the price increase for the drug Daraprim, Donald Trump blasted Shkreli.

“He looks like a spoiled brat to me,” Donald Trump said then. He also called Shkreli “nothing” and a “zero.”

But Shkreli months later endorsed Donald Trump’s candidacy.

One of the witnesses against Shkreli at his 2017 securities fraud trial was Texas biotech investor Darren Blanton, who was allegedly defrauded by Shkreli. Blanton served as an advisor to Donald Trump’s presidential transition.

After he was convicted of securities fraud and other crimes in the summer of 2017, Shkreli remained free on bond pending his appeal.

But his bail was revoked and he was ordered jailed by a judge after offering his Facebook followers a $5,000 bounty for a strand of hair from Hillary Clinton, the former first lady, U.S. senator, and secretary of state whom Donald Trump defeated in the 2016 presidential election.



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