By: Christina Sarich
Federal agents have arrested 32-year old pharmaceutical company CEO, Martin Shkreli, who successfully jacked up the price of a single Big Pharma pill from $13.50 to $750. But it seems this gouging of Turing Pharmaceuticals’ anti-infective drug, Daraprim, by 5000% was not Shkreli’s only crime. He now faces charges on securities fraud linked to a firm he founded.
Shkreli has defiantly defended his greed, saying that he would have raised drug prices even higher “since shareholders expect him to maximize profits,” but the federal case being brought against him now has nothing to do with charging people ridiculous prices for a life-saving pill. He has apparently also been playing another shell game – hiding some money here, taken from over there – that is far from legal.
Prosecutors in Brooklyn have charged him with illegally taking stock from Retrophin Inc., a biotechnology firm he started in 2011, and using it to pay off debts from unrelated business dealings.
According to Bloomberg, his defunct hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management, lost millions, but he played a dirty hand to try to save it. He is alleged to have made secret payoffs and set up sham consulting arrangements. A New York lawyer, Evan Greebel, was also arrested recently. He is accused of conspiring with Shkreli in part of this scheme.
The Big Pharma tycoon is also known for squandering $3 million of investors’ funds at the age of 26, losing almost all of it within a year.