A symbol of greed after skyrocketing the price of a drug used by many HIV patients, Martin Shkreli was arrested at his Manhattan, New York home this morning. He was charged with committing securities fraud.
The 32-year-old entrepreneur allegedly took stock from one of his firms, Retrophin Inc., and used it to pay off debt he accumulated from unrelated business dealings, according to Bloomberg. Shkreli, who started the firm in 2011, was fired by his own board members in Oct. 2014 for conduct they deemed inappropriate.
Federal prosecutors have accused Shkreli, as well as his lawyer, Evan Greebel, of setting up sham consulting arrangements after the former’s MSMB Capital Management hedge fund lost millions of dollars.
According to Bloomberg, as Shkreli kept losing money, he told investors “returns were as high as 35.8 percent when he was down 18 per cent.”
The entrepreneur became known as “the most hated man in America” after he bought the drug Daraprim, a preferred treatment for toxoplasmosis, a parasitic condition that can harm and compromise immune systems. HIV and some cancer patients have been known to use this drug, which he raised the price from $13.50 to $750.
When questioned and criticized, he repeatedly said “my investors expect me to maximize profits.”