Turing Pharmaceutical
Martin Shkreli

Martin Shkreli, The World’s Most Unpopular Pharmaceutical Exec, Arrested For Securities Fraud

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TechCrunch Is Going To Davos

In a move that will surprise no one familiar with his questionable career trajectory, Martin Shkreli, the pharmaceutical executive best known for hiking the price of a lifesaving anti-parasitic drug to $750 from $13.50, has been arrested and charged with securities fraud by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The arrest isn’t connected to the inflated price of Daraprim, which is used to treat toxoplasmosis in people with compromised immune systems, like HIV/AIDs and cancer patients (Daraprim has been sold since 1953, but its cost came under Shkreli’s control in August when it was acquired by his company Turing Pharmaceuticals). Instead, prosecutors say Shkreli committed fraud by illegally using stock from Retrophin, the company he ran from 2011 to 2014, to pay off debts, reports Bloomberg Business.

According to a September report by Newsweek, Shkreli’s crimes may actually be even more complex and serious. The magazine wrote that “the inquiry, according to crime records and people with knowledge of the inquiry, involves such a vast number of suspected crimes it is difficult to know where to start. A quick summary of the government’s theory: If there was money, Shkreli took it. If there were facts to be revealed, Shkreli hid them. If there were securities laws, Shkreli broke them.”

Shkreli was fired from Retrophin in 2014 and later sued by its board.

The Daraprim price-hike made Shkreli one of the most reviled men in the world, denounced even by Donald Trump, but he seemed to enjoy the attention, engaging in frequent fisticuffs on Twitter, going back on a promise to lower Daraprim’s price, and spending millions on the only copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s latest album/conceptual art project in existence. Shkreli said he planned to save “Once Upon A Time In Shaolin” for a rainy day, so maybe he’s listening to it now.

TechCrunch has emailed Turing Pharmaceuticals for comment.

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