Embattled pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli would violate his bail if he responds to a subpoena calling him to testify about drug pricing before Congress next week.
Following his arrest last month for securities fraud, a federal judge restricted Shkreli from going anywhere beyond parts of New York City and Long Island, according to the release order filed in federal court. As part of the agreement, Shkreli was ordered to post $5 million in bail.
Whether Shkreli and his attorney, Baruch Weiss, will seek to have the terms of the bail modified to allow him to travel is uncertain.
Shkreli declined to comment and his attorney did not respond to several messages. A spokeswoman for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform said lawmakers expect Shkreli to comply with terms of the subpoena.
Found this letter. Looks important. pic.twitter.com/3Ws154SGM4
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) January 20, 2016
The committee has received at least some of the documents it requested from Turing Pharmaceuticals, one of the companies Shkreli led before his arrest, a spokeswoman for Rep. Jason Chaffetz said.
However, the top senators on the Senate Aging Committee, which is conducting its own investigation, say Shkreli has invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to turn over information it has subpoenaed from Shkreli’s personal communications devices. Committee investigators believe the devices might have records related to Turing’s pricing practices.
“To be clear, Mr. Shkreli is essentially arguing that the very act of producing the documents … may incriminate him,” Senator Susan Collins of Maine, the committee chairwoman, said in Senate floor speech Wednesday.
She emphasized that his December indictment for securities fraud was “unrelated” to Turing and therefore the committee’s investigation. The committee subpoenaed him personally on Dec. 24 after he left Turing. On Jan. 12, Shkreli’s counsel invoked the Fifth Amendment in his response.
“Absent a valid justification for the grounds for invoking the Fifth Amendment, Mr. Shkreli’s assertion could hinder our important investigation,” Collins said. “It is essential for us to fully understand why this phenomenon is happening and to develop the legislative and regulatory solutions to end this disturbing practice.”
The Jan. 26 House hearing is being widely anticipated because it is expected to be part forum and part circus — at least if Shkreli makes an appearance. The 32-year-old is infamous for his brazen and mocking responses to criticism of his pricing tactics.
Those tactics turned Shkreli into a poster child for intensifying national outrage over pharmaceutical pricing, an issue that has even worked its way into the presidential campaign.
The committee recently asked Turing Pharmaceuticals, where Shkreli had been chief executive, to provide a raft of details about its decision to raise the price of a life-saving medicine by 5,000 percent — from $13.50 to $750 a pill — shortly after acquiring the drug last summer.
The committee also asked Valeant Pharmaceuticals to provide data about its pricing, given that the drug maker has been widely criticized for the same tactic — buying medicines and then quickly jacking up the prices to out-of-this-world levels. Howard Schiller, the interim Valeant CEO, is expected to testify.
But Shkreli would likely be the star, unless he is unable to appear or decides to plea the Fifth Amendment in order to exercise his right not to incriminate himself. But the hearing is unrelated to the securities fraud case against him, so there may not be any legal risk involved in testifying.
The fraud case stems from his time as chief executive of Retrophin (RTRX), another drug maker that he founded, and as portfolio manager of MSMB Capital Management. Prosecutors alleged that he used the drug maker as a “personal piggy bank” to repay investors in the troubled hedge fund.
Since his arrest, Shkreli has kept a slightly lower profile, though he still live-streams chunks of his life online. He confirmed his subpoena by tweeting a picture of the document with the caption “Found this letter. Looks important.”
Dylan Scott and David Nather contributed to this report.