Martin Shkreli arrested for securities fraud.

Villainous Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli Has Been Arrested for Securities Fraud

Villainous Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli Has Been Arrested for Securities Fraud

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
Dec. 17 2015 10:07 AM

Villainous Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli Has Been Arrested for Securities Fraud

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Martin Shkreli.

Screenshot/CNBC

Martin Shkreli, the widely loathed young pharma executive known for drastically hiking the price of a life-saving medication used by AIDS and cancer patients earlier this year, was arrested by federal authorities on charges of securities fraud Thursday morning, according to Bloomberg.

Shkreli is currently the chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, which this Summer purchased the rights to Daraprim, a 62-year-old drug used to treat a potentially deadly parasitic infection, and promptly began charging $750 per pill. The drug had previously cost $13.50. The federal investigation into Shkreli is reportedly unrelated to his most recent exploits in drug price gouging, however. Rather, it involves accusations that he bilked investors at his previous company, the biotech firm Retrophin that he founded in 2011, by taking stock and using it to cover debts from his failed hedge fund, MSMB Capital. Retrophin’s board eventually booted Shkreli and sued him. According to Bloomberg, the federal case “closely tracks that suit.”

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Since leeching his way into the public’s consciousness earlier this year, Shkreli has been a fairly constant presence in the media. A devoted rap fan, he managed to antagonize much of the music world recently when it was revealed that he had purchased the single copy of the Wu Tang Clan’s final album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, which the group had sold through a private auction. Ironically, during a recent interview with HipHopDX, he said he was considering bailing New York rapper Bobby Shmurda out of prison. In the same interview, he also referred to himself as “the most successful Albanian to ever walk the face of the earth” and suggested he might like to release a rap album himself. And look, now he has his very own felony charge to rhyme about!

Jordan Weissmann is Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.