You remember Martin Shkreli? The guy who increased the price of a vital drug used to treat Aids more than 55-fold? The one who tweeted “lol” at Hilary Clinton when she asked him to cut the price back? The guy who bought the one of a kind Wu-Tang album for $2 million, said he wouldn’t share it with anyone and then livestreamed him at his computer making a smug list of all the massive A-list musicians he’d pay to make an exclusive album just for him? The drug company entrepreneur has now been arrested on securities and fraud charges. He is suspected of plundering a firm he founded to pay off personal debts.
Bloomberg reports: “The federal case against him has nothing to do with pharmaceutical costs, however. Prosecutors charged him with illegally taking stock from Retrophin Inc, a biotechnology firm he started in 2011, and using it pay off debts from unrelated business dealings. He was later ousted from the company, where he’d been chief executive officer, and sued by its board.
In the case that closely tracks that suit, federal prosecutors accused Shkreli of engaging in a complicated shell game after his defunct hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management, lost millions. He is alleged to have made secret payoffs and set up sham consulting arrangements.”
Former hedge fund manager Shkreli, head of Turing Pharmaceuticals, bought the rights to and then increased by more than 5,000 per cent the price of Daraprim, a 62-year-old drug with no competition. The price hike sparked outrage from medical groups representing doctors who care for patients with HIV and from the public, knowing that many would no longer be able to afford the drug.