Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, dubbed ”the most hated man in America” for gouging patients dependent on a drug used for HIV and cancer treatment, was arrested at his home in Manhattan today (Dec. 17) on securities fraud charges related to his past business interests, Bloomberg and Reuters report.
Prosecutors have reportedly charged him with using illegally acquired stock from Retrophin, a biotechnology firm he founded in 2011, to pay off other business debts, after his defunct hedge fund MSMB lost millions.
The 32-year-old Shkreli was ousted from Retrophin and sued by its board. His new company, Turing, acquired Daraprim, a sole-source medication for toxoplasmosis, that has been in circulation since 1953 and is used frequently by patients with compromised immune systems, and raised its price from $13.50 per pill to $750—a mere 5,000% increase. After the price hike drew widespread ire, Shkreli vehemently defended his decision with quotes by rapper Eminem, sealing his “pharma bro” reputation.
His love for hip hop has has gotten him in even more trouble with the public of late. He spent $2 million on the only copy of a Wu Tang Clan album and said, in crude terms, he had no plans to immediately play it. He also revealed this week he wants to bail out jailed rapper Bobby Shmurda, who was arrested on gun charges and gang conspiracy in 2014. “I’ll show up with $2 million bail money no fucking problem,” Shkreli told Hip Hop DX.
Shkreli and his lawyers could not be immediately reached for comment on the federal charges.