Martin Shkreli sues his former company, claiming he was fraudulently ousted

/ CBS/AP

Martin Shkreli has sued three executives at a company he started, saying they illegally ousted him and defrauded the company of millions of dollars. Shkreli, known as the "Pharma Bro," filed the lawsuit from a federal prison where he's serving a seven-year sentence for lying to investors.

The lawsuit was filed Friday in Manhattan federal court. It seeks unspecified damages. However, CNBC reported Shkreli is seeking more than $30 million in damages.

Shkreli, 36, is perhaps best known for boosting the price of a life-saving drug by more than 5,000% and trolling his critics on social media while he worked at Retrophin. In his lawsuit, Shkreli alleged that he was "unceremoniously and illegally ousted" from the company he started by executives who were "driven by their egos, jealousy and greed."

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The lawsuit said Shkreli was fraudulently induced to negotiate the terms of departure from the company before he was tricked into signing a fraudulent document, resigning voluntarily from the company and giving up his rights as the chief executive and founder.

He alleged through the lawsuit that those who ousted him paid themselves over $35 million.

Fraud conviction

He was convicted in August 2017 of fraud related to his handling of hedge fund investments and Retrophin stock but brashly predicted he'd never go to prison.

Recently, he's spent time in solitary confinement while the U.S. Bureau of Prisons investigated whether he violated rules forbidding inmates from conducting business and possessing cellphones. According to The Wall Street Journal, Shkreli had been calling the shots at Phoenixus AG, a drug company formerly known as Turing Pharmaceuticals, despite serving time in prison.

Prison officials investigating Martin Shkreli over contraband cellphone

The lawsuit said Shkreli was fraudulently induced to negotiate the terms of departure from the company before he was tricked into signing a fraudulent document, resigning voluntarily from the company and giving up his rights as the chief executive and founder.

He alleged through the lawsuit that those who ousted him paid themselves over $35 million.

The company declined through a spokesman to comment.

First published on May 31, 2019 / 5:15 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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