Martin Shkreli, past stock mogul and current mogul of the pharmaceutical industry has quickly become the most hated man in all of America. His decision to raise the price of toxoplasmosis drug Daraprim, necessary to prevent fatal diseases in certain AIDS patients, pregnant women and cancer patients, has truly angered the world in a way that hasn’t been experienced for quite some time. He bought the rights to the drug with his company Turing Pharmaceuticals, and then decided to hike the price 5000%, from just dollars per pill to $750 per pill.
This decision has caused the world to not only hate him, but to actively work together against him, with a competitor company developing a new drug performing the same effect just shortly after the price hike was announced, in a sole attempt to prevent him from earning any money off his inhumanity.
Of course, there’s more to the man though than just his price gouging. There are many other facts about him that in some way, shine some light on him or his financial decisions. So let’s take a look at twelve interesting facts about Martin Shkreli that you may not have known and may also help shine some light on why he does what he does.
12. His Net Worth Is $100 Million
Being somewhat of a Wall Street prodigy in his younger days, he made a lot of money. This amount is just an estimate, but still it’s a lot of money. Before becoming CEO of the now-hated Turing Pharmaceuticals, Martin Shkreli made his living on the famous Wall Street. He owned his own hedge fund, called MSMB Capital Management. Before that, he worked for Cramer Berkowitz & Co, which is stock guru Jim Cramer’s company. His parents were immigrants that were a part of the working class, which says a lot because, he truly climbed the ladder and climbed it fast. His study under Cramer was credited with skyrocketing him to success.
11. He Was Arrested For Reasons Unrelated To His Drug Price Scandal
Many people believe he was arrested due to his decision to hike the price on Daraprim, the drug responsible for keeping AIDs patients, cancer patients, and pregnant women safe from a rare parasitic infection. However, his arrest was related to dirty deeds done in his past. His hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management was circling the drain. It had failed and was deep in debt. At the time, he was CEO of another company called Retrophin. Shkreli allegedly siphoned assets from Retophin to pay off his hedge fund debt, which is quite illegal. It is this act that has gotten him in trouble with the law.
10. His Arrest Has Cost Him Millions Of Dollars
In an amazing penance for his actions, his arrest has already cost him millions of dollars. Shkreli owns yet another pharmaceutical company, KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc. Stock in this company reportedly fell 53% following the word of his arrest. This drop reportedly cost him more than $25 million. According to MarketWatch: “With the stock last changing hands at $11.03 in pre-market trade prior to the halt, down $12.87, or 53%, from Wednesday’s closing price of $23.59, Shkreli’s stake was worth $26.7 million less than yesterday.” So it would seem that his shady business deals are finally coming around to bite him where it really hurts, his wallet.
9. He Is Just An April Fool
Everyone loves April Fool’s Day. It’s a grand day where you can play tricks on people and be tricked in return. For Shkreli, however, who was born on this sacred day, some people believe that perhaps his entire life is just one big April Fool’s Day joke. All of his shady business deals and all of his underhanded antics is just some kind of joke designed to make the world absurdly mad at him for no reason. It’s all just a troll, basically. In other news, his birth year is also the year of the pig in the Chinese zodiac. So there’s that too.
8. His Former Company Is Suing Him For $65 Million
His former company Retrophin, is suing him for $65 million. This lawsuit comes in response to Shkreli’s use of company funds to pay off the debt on his failed hedge fund venture. The same action that will likely cause him to end up in jail, is also likely going to cost him a lot of money if found guilty. Of course, Shkreli has called these claims “preposterous.” To enhance their ability to get their money back, they are also fully cooperating with authorities in the investigation into Shkreli. “His plots were matched only by efforts to conceal the fraud, which led him to operate his companies, including a publicly traded company, as a Ponzi scheme, where he used the assets of the new entity to pay off debts from the old entity,” Robert Capers, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York said of the events.
7. He Was Looking For Love On The Internet
Like many other people around his age in the era of the Internet, Shkreli was looking for love on an internet dating site. He had an OKCupid profile, which has since been deleted. A cached version of the page can still be brought up, however. On the site, he described himself as “an NYC guy” and said that he is good at “making drugs that save peoples’ lives. Hanging out on the internet. Generating shareholder value. Eye rolls.” Since his hedge fund failed, the shareholder value one can be debated, and all of the excitement around his drug price hikes really remove the saving peoples’ lives part as well. So, like everyone else on dating profiles, he lies. At least his pic is genuine.
6. He Spent $2 Million On A Wu-Tang Clan Album
He reportedly spent $2 million on an exclusive lone copy of a Wu-Tang Clan album. This album is unique and can only be experienced by one lone collector. RZA, from the Wu-Tang Clan, told Forbes: “We’re about to put out a piece of art like nobody else has done in the history of music. We’re making a single-sale collector’s item. This is like someone having the scepter of an Egyptian king.” Due to agreement, the buyer of the album cannot release it commercially for 88 years. He can release it on the Internet for free or play it himself. In true Shkreli fashion, he said: “I’m not going to play it for no reason. If Taylor Swift wants to come over and bleep bleep, I’ll play it for her.”
5. He Started Working On Wall Street When He Was 17
In somewhat of a surprise, Shkreli was a bit of a child prodigy. He got his start working as an intern for Mad Money host Jim Cramer, when he was only 17 years old. He worked as an intern for Cramer Berkowitz and Co. He was promoted to associate while he was in college at Baruch College, where he graduated in 2004. Following his college life, he moved on from Cramer’s company to work as an associate at Intrepid Capital from 2004 to 2006. He founded his first asset, the mutual fund MSMB Capital in 2012. He invested a lot of money then in the pharmaceutical industry, becoming CEO of several pharmaceutical companies, including the now-infamous Turing Pharmaceuticals.
4. He Still Defends His Decision To Hike The Price
Despite the world pretty much unanimously agreeing that he is a horrible guy, he still to this day defends his 5000% price hike on the drug Daraprim, hiking it to $750 per pill from just several dollars per pill. He’s still dealing with the fallout on his Twitter page, and he told the New York Times that Daraprim “is one of the smallest pharmaceutical products in the world. It really doesn’t make any sense to get any criticism for this.” The point Martin was trying to make is that the drug is seldomly used, so the pricing wouldn’t have much of an effect. However, as revealed by several sources, the people who rely on it to live may be unable to afford it, and it may cost them their lives.
3. Hillary Clinton Attacked Him
2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, came out against Shkreli in a series of fierce attacks. On Facebook, Clinton wrote: “Do the right thing. Lower the cost today to its original price. There are other drug companies gouging Americans with higher prices than they charge other people around the world.” Hilary also said, “if you’re price gouging American families and jacking up costs for no good reason, I’m going to hold you accountable.” Interestingly, the price hike on the drug applied only to Americans. It was seen by some as a direct attack on American families and those suffering from the disease.
2. He Loves eSports
eSports is the name for the entire competitive video gaming industry. The industry has blown up over the last decade or so, with tournaments offering multi-million dollar prize pools and fierce competition watched by millions around the globe. When he wasn’t busy with his drug companies, Shkreli was often playing League of Legends, a competitive online strategy game that is one of the most popular eSports games. He was rejected in his bid to purchase an eSports team, so he decided to found his own, titled Odyssey eSports. Team Odyssey failed to qualify for the 2015 NA League of Legends Challenger Series.
1. His Lawyer Raised His Prices 5000% Just To Spite Him
In a complete snub to Shkreli, his defense attorney decided to hike his hourly rate from $1200 per hour to $60,000 per hour. Shkreli, failing to see the irony, was shouting at his attorney, calling it “outrageous and inhumane price gouging.” Isn’t that what you did though, Shkreli? He also was heard screaming: “This is the behavior of a sociopath.” We agree. Shkreli’s lawyer shrugged it off, stating, “Compared to what he pays for an hour of Wu-Tang Clan, sixty thousand is a bargain.” This is truly epic, and it’s even funnier that Shkreli would have the audacity to call it price gouging when he so clearly did that himself.