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Feds hit ‘Pharma Bro’ Shkreli with new criminal charge in fraud case

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U.S. prosecutors tacked on an additional criminal charge to their case against former drug executive Martin Shkreli on Friday, alleging that he tried to conceal from investors his control over unrestricted shares in Retrophin Inc.

Federal prosecutors in the New York City borough of Brooklyn filed a superseding indictment with eight criminal counts against Shkreli, who last year became a lightning rod for outrage over soaring prescription drug prices. He was initially indicted in December on seven counts.

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Shkreli, 33, pleaded not guilty to the earlier indictment and is awaiting a possible trial this year or next.

“The new indictment adds nothing of value to the government’s case that still relies on a flawed theory as to Mr. Shkreli,” his lawyer Benjamin Brafman said in a statement.

According to the new indictment, in 2012 Shkreli and Retrophin’s outside counsel Evan Greebel divided 2 million of the company’s unrestricted shares across seven employees and contractors in such a way as to avoid the reporting requirements of federal securities law.

Shkreli and Greebel also in effect controlled the shares by preventing some of the employees and contractors from selling them but they did not disclose that control to securities regulators, the indictment says.

Greebel, who was charged in the earlier indictment and pleaded not guilty, also faces the additional charge, bringing the number of counts against him to two. A lawyer for him declined to comment.

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Last year, Shkreli sparked outrage after another company he ran, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of the drug Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent to $750 a pill.

(Editing by Chris Reese and Matthew Lewis)


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‘The monarch has taken a body blow’: Ex-prosecutor explains why Court ruling is devastating for Trump

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On MSNBC Thursday, former federal prosecutor John Flannery broke down the implications of the Supreme Court's ruling against President Donald Trump on immunity from subpoenas.

"I think what it says is that the monarch has taken a body blow as a result of what will be an historic decision, as we've indicated," said Flannery. "I think that the position of the DA in New York is very special, because he can speed this up in a way that the House can',t and has a specific strength, I think, in this case, that it is criminal."

"The most significant thing about it is this is the first Supreme Court case in which there's ever been agreed that a prosecutor could subpoena a president," added Flannery. "Prior prosecutions have been federal, that have been treated by the Supreme Court. So this is a big difference. The majority of the court, 7-2, basically said, from 1740 on, the public is entitled to the testimony, to the evidence of any person. They said that the documents — the question is the character documents, not the character of the person. In this case, what we have is a situation which I bet that the DA is going to go to the court as soon as possible, move to compel an appearance to their subpoena, and going to have the discussion as to what if anything may be limited or excluded and get production as quickly as possible."

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Trump officials demanded the Army ‘dig for misconduct’ to justify firing Lt. Col. Vindman

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This week, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman willingly left the Army after decades of honorable service. He cited a concerted campaign of "bullying" from the highest branches of power in the United States, and now more details are becoming known.

A New Yorker report revealed that top aides to President Donald Trump were told that they needed to find dirt on Vindman that could justify the firing of the decorated war hero.

"Vindman expected to go to the National War College this fall—a low-profile assignment—then take another foreign posting," the New Yorker reported. "But, in a final act of revenge, the White House recently made clear that Trump opposed Vindman’s promotion. Senior Administration officials told [Defense Secretary Mark] Esper and Ryan McCarthy, the Secretary of the Army, to dig for misconduct that would justify blocking Vindman’s promotion. They couldn’t find anything, multiple sources told me. Others in the military chain of command began to warn Vindman that he would never be deployable overseas again—despite his language skills and regional expertise."

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Russian bounties: Pentagon vows ‘action’ if intel confirmed

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Top Pentagon officials pledged Thursday to "take action" if the US military could corroborate intelligence suggesting Moscow paid militants linked to the Taliban to kill US soldiers in Afghanistan.

General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper spoke before a congressional committee as the Trump administration comes under pressure to explain media reports claiming the president was briefed on the intelligence -- but did nothing in response.

Milley said the information was "not corroborated."

"We'll get to the bottom of it. We are going to find out if, in fact, it's true. And if it is true, we will take action," he continued, without specifying what kind of action might be taken.

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