Martin Shkreli, Pharmaceutical CEO Who Hiked HIV Drug Prices, Arrested on Fraud Charges

Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli is arrested on December 17. AP Images

How do you spell schadenfreude? Martin Shkreli, the pharmaceutical CEO who made headlines in September for raising the price of HIV drug Daraprim, was arrested at his midtown Manhattan apartment in NYC on Thursday, December 17.

The 32-year-old drug-company entrepreneur looked nonplussed as authorities led him out onto the street. He was wearing jeans and a gray hoodie after being hit with a lawsuit claiming several counts of securities fraud.

Federal agents also arrested Evan Greebel, a New York lawyer who is believed to have conspired with Shkreli in the fraud schemes.

According to The New York Times, Shkreli is being accused of taking funds from his former biopharmaceutical company, Retrophin, to pay off debts he owed to upset investors who lost money through the hedge fund he started, MSMB Capital Management.

“Shkreli was the paradigm faithless servant,” Retrophin’s complaint reads, according to the Times. “Starting sometime in early 2012, and continuing until he left the company, Shkreli used his control over Retrophin to enrich himself and to pay off claims of MSMB investors (who he had defrauded).”

One way Shkreli is believed to have illegally funneled the money to angry investors is by setting up fake consulting arrangements.

MSMB Capital Management is now defunct after losing several million dollars, and Shkreli was pushed out of Retrophin in September 2014 “because of serious concerns about his conduct,” the company said in a statement.

AP Images

Shkreli, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to be too concerned about the lawsuit.

“The $65 million Retrophin wants from me would not dent me,” he said of the company’s lawsuit, according to Bloomberg. “I feel great. I’m licking my chops over the suits I’m going to file against them.”

In September, Shkreli was dubbed “a spoiled brat” by GOP front-runner Donald Trump after he raised the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 a pill overnight.

“That guy is nothing. He’s zero. He’s nothing,” the presidential candidate said during a South Carolina campaign stop. “He ought to be ashamed of himself. And I think, probably, at some point, the public is going to get him to reduce it somewhat, but I think what he did was a disgrace.”

When Hillary Clinton similarly tried to convince Shkreli to cut the price hike, the smug CEO replied with a tweet: “lol.”

“I probably would have raised the price higher,” he said during a Forbes summit in New York this month. “My investors expect me to maximize profits.”

Last week, it was revealed that Shkreli was the highest bidder for the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan’s most recent album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, at $2 million — and didn’t even give the highly anticipated tunes a listen.

“I could be convinced to listen to it earlier if Taylor Swift wants to hear it or something like that,” Shkreli told Bloomberg. “But for now, I think I’m going to kind of save it for a rainy day.”

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