"Pharma bro" Martin Shkreli arrested for securities fraud

Has the man whose face has replaced Gordon Gekko's as that of American greed finally getting his comeuppance?

Published December 17, 2015 12:51PM (EST)


The new face of American greed, Martin Shkreli, was arrested at his home -- the one in which the only copy of the new Wu-Tang Clan album, "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin," presumably resides -- on charges related to securities fraud, Bloomberg Business' Christie Smythe and Keri Geiger report.

Shkreli vaulted into the public eye in September, when he boasted about raising the price on a life-saving toxoplasmosis treatment for unborn babies and people with HIV or cancer by 5,455 percent. Although he insisted the drug "was still under-priced," he promised that he would return it to its original level -- a promise he reneged on the last week of November. His despicable behavior has prompted everyone from Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton to condemn him.

According to the complaint filed against him in Manhattan federal court, Shkreli attempted to settle debts accrued while running MSMB Capital Management by using company funds from Retrophin, the first biotechnology firm he founded. After being voted out of the company in 2014, he founded Turing Pharmaceuticals, the firm with which he rose to fame earlier this year.

When Turing was warned by the New York Attorney General's Office earlier this year that the distribution network the firm set up for Daraprim could violate state antitrust laws, Shkreli set up another firm -- KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc. -- which immediately purchased denznidazole, a treatment for the South and Central American disease Chagas, and announced plans to increase its cost, according to Smythe and Geiger, from "a couple hundred dollars for two months to a pricing structure like that for hepatitis-C drugs, which can run to nearly $100,000 for 12 weeks."

Retrophin is also suing Shkreli for $65 million, a sum he claimed "would not dent me. I feel great. I’m licking my chops over the suits I’m going to file against them."
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