This is really only a music-story-by-association, and only barely one at that, but we may not have Martin Shkreli to kick around anymore. Shkreli is, of course, the piece-of-shit pharmaceutical CEO who jacked up the price of an AIDS/cancer drug to unbelievably high levels. Lately, he’s shown up on this website because he bankrolled Geoff Rickly’s Collect Records (before Rickly learned of Shkreli’s business practices and cut ties with him), for paying $2 million for the one copy of the new Wu-Tang Clan album, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, and for claiming he’d bail Bobby Shmurda out of jail. And now the FBI has arrested him.
Reuters reports that FBI agents arrested Shkreli outside of his apartment in Manhattan’s Murray Hill neighborhood yesterday. The Bureau had been probing Shkreli for his activities as manager of hedge fund MSMB Capital Management and CEO of biopharmaceutical company Retrophin Inc., both positions he held before taking over as chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals. A source has told Reuters that the 32-year-old Shkreli “was expected to be charged on Thursday for illegally using Retrophin assets to pay off debts after MSMB lost millions of dollars.”
Last August, Retrophin sued Shkreli for defrauding the company to enrich himself and to pay off MSMB investors. They’re saying he also defrauded MSMB along the way. How do people keep hiring this guy?
Right now, Shkreli is also the subject of two different Congressional probes, thanks to his activities as Turing chief executive, and the New York state attorney general is also investigating him over antitrust issues. Some day, someone needs to make a Wolf Of Wall Street-type movie about this guy, but only if he doesn’t end up getting paid for his life rights. Maybe wait until after he’s dead.
UPDATE: More details have surfaced about why Shkreli was arrested: Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Robert Capers said that he “essentially ran his companies like a Ponzi scheme, where he used each subsequent company to pay off defrauded investors in the prior company,” according to Reuters. He is officially charged with securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy, and wire fraud conspiracy.
CNBC says that Shkreli is current out of jail on a $5 million bond.
Also, in case you were wondering about the Wu-Tang album…
#Breaking no seizure warrant at the arrest of Martin Shkreli today, which means we didn't seize the Wu-Tang Clan album.
— FBI New York (@NewYorkFBI) December 17, 2015
It’s not clear Shkreli has even acquired his copy of Shaolin yet, but some are speculating he flashed it in his livestream yesterday:
— Andrew Wiseman (@wisemana) December 17, 2015