from the goes-around-comes-around dept
In a bit of an early Christmas present for the Internet, Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli was arrested early Thursday morning for securities fraud (less than a day after Bloomberg had a big article about what a stock trading savant he was). According to reports, the Internet’s least favorite human being had been under investigation since January for illegally taking stock from a biotechnology company he started in 2011 (Retrophin) to pay off unrelated debts, using a number of shell companies:
“…federal prosecutors accused Shkreli of engaging in a complicated shell game after his defunct hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management, lost millions. He is alleged to have made secret payoffs and set up sham consulting arrangements. A New York lawyer, Evan Greebel, was also arrested early Thursday. He’s accused of conspiring with Shkreli in part of the scheme.”
Turing and Shkreli came to fame for raising the price of Daraprim, the preferred treatment for a parasitic condition known as toxoplasmosis, some 5000% (from $13.50 to $750 per pill). After the much maligned CEO then appeared to backpedal and promise a price reduction for the drug, Turing released a highly dodgy press statement right before the Thanksgiving holiday making it abundantly clear that wouldn’t be happening. On a positive note, Shkreli’s behavior has prompted a much-needed examination of pharmaceutical industry business practices, and specifically the practice of jacking up prices on previously inexpensive generics.
Shkreli’s name then remained in the headlines after it was discovered he’d purchased the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for the rock-bottom price of $2 million — months before his rise to “fame.” And in a recent interview on the album’s purchase, Shkreli tries to vaguely imply that the entire Turing pharmaceutical shit show has been performance art:
“To me, what I?m doing right now in the media,? Shkreli continues, ?raising prices, all this shit, believe what you want, but it?s interesting. It gets people talking. At the end of the day, that?s what art is.
Well, maybe less like art and more like bad fiction. Bad fiction about a greedy toddler getting what’s owed, and just in time for the holiday season.