Shkreli, 'most hated man in healthcare,' arrested for fraud

Prosecutors allege shell game
By Henry Powderly
09:49 AM
Martin Shkreli

Martin Shkreli, the infamous pharma CEO who drew widespread scorn for hiking the price of AIDS drug Daraprim from $13.50 a pill to $750, was arrested by federal agents Thursday morning on charges of securities fraud.

Bloomberg, which first reported the story, said Shkreli was arrested in his Manhattan home and charged with illegally taking stock from Retrophin, a separate biotechnology firm he started in in 2011 and from which he was later ousted. Prosecutors allege Shkreli engaged in a shell game, using proceeds from the Retrophin stock to pay off debts tied to his now-defunct hedge fund MSMB Capital Management.

Shkreli earned the "most hated man in healthcare" title earlier this year after he decided to hike the price of Daraprim, a drug Turing purchased that treats toxoplasmosis in AIDS patients by 5,000 percent. Though he stood by the move as necessary to shore up more money for drug research, he later dropped the price for hospitals only.

Shkreli's online persona hasn't helped him win public favor, either. Often taking to Twitter, the "pharma bro" regularly picked fights with anyone who criticised his business practices. He also recently made headlines when it was announced he was the sole owner of a rap album by Wu-Tang Clan. The group only made one copy, which Shkreli bought for $2 million.

This story first appeared on Healthcare Finance.

Twitter: @HenryPowderly