Update: Shkreli has been released on $5 million bail after a court hearing on Thursday, Reuters is reporting, and his travel has been restricted to areas of New York. It is not immediately clear how he pleaded to the charges against him.
Pharmaceuticals executive, former hedge funder, and a walking “greed is good” cliche Martin Shkreli — or as you’ll remember, the guy who raised the price of a life-saving AIDs and cancer drug from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill and purchased the only known copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin — recently said that he’s saving that first listen of his just-acquired asset “for a rainy day.” Well, it looks like that precipitation has come, and probably sooner than anticipated.
Yes, in what has to be one of the most satisfying advents of karma(ceuticals) in a while, Shkreli has reportedly been arrested by the FBI after an investigation into the pharmaceutical company he started, Retrophin Inc., and his former hedge fund, according to Reuters. (Shkreli is currently the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc.)
On Thursday, Bloomberg reported that Shkreli had been charged with illegally taking stock from Retrophin Inc., the biotechnology firm he started in 2011, and using it to pay off debts from the fund he started, MSMB Capital Management. He was later ousted from Retrophin, where he’d been CEO, and sued by its board, who had “serious concerns about his conduct.”
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group, has reportedly been tracking Shkreli for a long time.
“In 2012, CREW was the first to call attention to Martin Shkreli’s financial shenanigans, requesting that the Department of Justice and SEC investigate Shkreli for his actions at MSMB Capital Management,” CREW executive director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement. “This morning’s arrest of Shkreli by the FBI shows that the law applies to everyone. We commend the DOJ for sending a clear message that these types of action will not be tolerated.”