Martin Shkreli or “Pharma Boy” as he is better known, was arrested earlier today on securities fraud related to a firm he founded.
Prosecutors charged him with illegally taking stock from Retrophin Inc., a biotechnology firm he started in 2011, and using it pay off debts from unrelated business dealings. He was later ousted from the company, where he’d been chief executive officer, and sued by its board.
Shkreli, 32, the man who also purchased a limited edition Wu-Tang Clan album for upwards of $2 million dollars, became the world’s most hated man when his company purchased the rights to Daraprim and jacked up the price from $13.50 to $750. Daraprim is the preferred treatment for a parasitic condition known as toxoplasmosis, which can be deadly for unborn babies and patients with compromised immune systems including those with HIV or cancer. His company, Turing Pharmaceuticals AG, bought the drug, moved it to a closed distribution system and instantly drove up the price.
The recent federal charges and regulatory actions could allow Shkreli to be banned from running a public company, which could put the future of Turing and KaloBios into question. However, according to reports, if the companies were kept private, he could maintain oversight by simply changing his title.