Prison Bureau to Investigate Shkreli’s Alleged Use of a Contraband Phone

Martin Shkreli headshot

JStone /

The Federal Bureau of Prisons is investigating reports that Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli is using a contraband cellular telephone to continue to call the shots at his former company from prison.

In a brief statement issued over the weekend after reports of Shkreli’s use of a phone, the federal bureau said it will investigate the allegations, which it considers a serious offense. According to prison guidelines, it is a violation of federal regulations to run a business from behind bars. This morning, CNBC reported that if Shkreli is discovered to have the phone, it could lead to additional charges brought against him, which could mean time added to his sentence. Additionally, the prison bureau said the allegations could result in additional repercussions, including separating him from the other inmates and restricting his visitors. Shkreli’s attorneys declined to comment about the latest potential charges against their client, CNBC said.

According to reports, Shkreli, who is serving his time at a federal prison in Fort Dix, has used a contraband mobile phone to maintain a grip on Phoenixus AG, the company formerly known as Turing Pharmaceuticals, which Shkreli founded and made infamous for the 5,000 percent price hike of toxoplasmosis drug Daraprim. Although behind bars for securities fraud and other charges, Shkreli has allegedly maintained control of Phoenixus through the use of the phone. Although he no longer serves as an executive of the company, he has a significant amount of shares in the company, which allows him to dictate advice and direction to company leaders.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which was first to report on his use of a banned phone, Shkreli has made leadership changes to the Switzerland-based company from behind bars. Additionally, he has also been directing the company to acquire more rare drugs that are various stages of development. Shkreli has also urged Phoenixus leadership to undertake an ambitious research-and-development agenda. By driving the company to undertake these actions, Shkreli hopes to leave prison far richer than when he entered, the Journal said last week. Currently, Shkreli has less than 1,000 days left to serve.

Although Shkreli’s attorneys have not responded to requests for comments about the contraband phone, Shkreli himself may have admitted to the use of the device on the blog he has maintained since entering prison. Last week, there was a post on the blog where he posed the question “Who talked to the Jake?,” meaning who told the Journal about his use of a contraband phone. In the very brief blog post, he asked his readers to comment on who they believe told the paper about his use of the phone.

Click to sign up for newsletters

Back to news