Shkreli already under criminal investigation before he screwed AIDs patients

The world’s most hated man this week could well be Martin Shkreli, whose pharmaceutical company inexplicably raised the price last month of a decades-old drug needed to treat a complex parasitic infection by more than 5,400 percent. But there is a group of folks who are probably delighted that Shkreli thrust himself into the public eye in such a negative way: Federal prosecutors.

Since at least in January, Shkreli has been under criminal investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, court records show. And Shkreli is not alone—some of his business associates have also received grand jury subpoenas in the case.

After being notified of the investigation that month, Shkreli—a former hedge fund manager turned drug company entrepreneur—has invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination because of the criminal case whenever his testimony has been sought in the many civil lawsuits filed against him about his business dealings…

According to the court records and people with knowledge of the case, the allegations against Shkreli that are under investigation involve insider trading, disguising the purpose of corporate payments for his benefit, defrauding shareholders by snatching business opportunities for himself, destruction of evidence, failure to disclose material facts to shareholders and other potential crimes…

Suffice to say, Shkreli not only has engendered public contempt, he has left a very troubling and strange trail in his career that has won him plenty of enemies, including members of his former company’s board of directors. Now, with Shkreli the latest corporate executive condemned as a villain, he has an enormous target on his back. And federal prosecutors are holding a loaded gun.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, eh?

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15 thoughts on “Shkreli already under criminal investigation before he screwed AIDs patients

  1. Pinko says:

    “A Bad Week For Capitalism: The Impact of the Martin Shkreli and Volkswagen Scandals” (Martin Tillier, NASDAQ financial adviser 9/22) http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/stockmarketnewsstoryprint.aspx?storyid=a-bad-week-for-capitalism-the-impact-of-the-martin-shkreli-and-volkswagen-scandals-cm522456 “For those with a belief in the efficacy of free markets, this has been a dispiriting week. We have been treated to two examples of what Karl Marx once called “Capitalism red in tooth and claw.” It is an indication of the depths to which the two companies have sunk that the best description of their behavior comes from that source. The two stories are vastly different in many ways, but both show the danger of a corporate culture that eschews basic morality in the pursuit of profit. It should be noted that maximizing shareholder return is the most fundamental task of a public company, and I have nothing against that, but even the most profit-driven of executives is expected to strike a balance between that mandate and what is the “right thing” to do, either morally or legally.”

  2. Invisible Hand says:

    A California specialty drugmaker is offering a $1 rival to a prescription drug solely supplied by Turing Pharmaceuticals, whose 5,000 percent price hike last month sparked outrage in the United States. http://news.discovery.com/tech/biotechnology/new-1-pill-treats-hiv-aids-related-infection-151024.htm “While we respect Turing’s right to charge patients and insurance companies whatever it believes is appropriate, there may be more cost-effective compounded options for medications, such as Daraprim, for patients, physicians, insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers to consider,” said Mark Baum, chief executive of Imprimis, in a statement. “This is not the first time a sole-supply generic drug — especially one that has been approved for use as long as Daraprim — has had its price increased suddenly and to a level that may make it unaffordable,” he said. Imprimis will launch a new program called Imprimis Cares to make generic drugs available at accessible prices, “in response to this recent case and others that we will soon identify,” Baum said. Shares in Imprimis surged 17.4 percent, closing at $7.01 on the Nasdaq.

  3. Turnabout says:

    WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who together lead the Senate Special Committee on Aging, today announced a bipartisan Senate investigation into pharmaceutical drug pricing. The announcement follows a series of media reports detailing dramatic drug price increases—often on older, off-patent drugs—after the acquisition or merger of pharmaceutical companies. The Senators have requested documents and information from four pharmaceutical companies: Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Turing Pharmaceuticals, Retrophin Inc, and Rodelis Therapeutics. Each request focuses on drugs that have seen recent and significant spikes in price.
    “We seek your cooperation with this investigation so that the Committee may better understand drug pricing and related regulatory and public policy concerns. In particular, the Committee wishes to learn more about Turing Pharmaceuticals’ recent acquisition of the rights to sell Daraprim, a drug used to treat and prevent infections, from Impax Laboratories and Turing’s subsequent decision to increase the price of Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 [per tablet],” reads the Senators’ letter to Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli. {links to copies of the letters sent to all four of the pharmaceutical companies are included in the press release} The Senate Special Committee on Aging has tentatively scheduled an initial hearing on this issue for December 9, 2015 and will hold subsequent hearings, as needed, in the following months. http://www.aging.senate.gov/press-releases/collins-mccaskill-open-senate-investigation-into-rx-drug-pricing-announce-intention-to-hold-hearings

  4. Chrizzart says:

    “Pharma’s favorite villain, Turing Pharmaceuticals founder and CEO Martin Shkreli, has decided that one company isn’t enough and has led a group of investors in buying more than half of KaloBios, a public biotech on the edge of liquidating. Other buyers have poured in since his involvement was first revealed last week. Shares of what was very recently a penny stock were up nearly 5000 percent at one point this week and closed on Tuesday up 1900 percent. But anybody blindly following Shkreli into KaloBios is making a potentially expensive mistake.” http://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2015-11-25/kalobios-martin-shkreli-s-bet-is-risky
    Also Google “$750/pill pharma company reverses decision to lower drug price”

  5. Jim Walker says:

    “Martin Shkreli, a pharmaceutical entrepreneur and former hedge fund manager who has been widely criticized for drug price gouging, was arrested Thursday morning by the federal authorities.
    The investigation, in which Mr. Shkreli has been charged with securities fraud, is related to his time as a hedge fund manager and running the biopharmaceutical company Retrophin — not the price-gouging controversy that has swirled around him.” (NYT 12/17/15) http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/18/business/shkreli-fraud-charges.html

  6. Cocking a snook says:

    “Embattled drug entrepreneur Martin Shkreli — who vigorously defended his decision to hike the price of a life-saving drug from $13.50 to $750 — suddenly went silent Thursday at a Congressional committee, smirking and grinning instead of answering questions. After the hearing, he removed any doubt about his feelings. “Hard to accept that these imbeciles represent the people in our government,” Shkreli said on Twitter, where he proceeded to retweet several users who posted supportive messages. (see links) http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/02/04/martin-shkreli-congressional-testimony-turing-pharmaceuticals-valeant-fda-drug-prices/79808004/ Photo: http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/48d895b52984f5fa9b180f32c4a31633f268cbaa/c=129-0-2998-2157&r=x408&c=540×405/local/-/media/2016/02/04/USATODAY/USATODAY/635901787467400649-GTY-508357106.jpg

  7. Detritivore says:

    “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli Says Hillary Clinton Has Parkinson’s Disease http://all-that-is-interesting.com/martin-shkreli-hillary-clinton-parkinsons “Embattled former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli recently advanced a theory that has been gathering steam in certain corners of the Internet: Hillary Clinton is suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
    Shkreli — widely dubbed “the most hated man in America” after his company acquired an HIV drug and immediately raised its price from $13.50 to $750 per tablet last September — fanned the flames of what’s quickly become the #HillarysHealth movement at right-wing conspiracy site InfoWars. …Shkreli is just one of the latest and more high-profile voices joining the #HillarysHealth movement. The photos and videos on which Shkreli was commenting have been making the rounds on conservative sites like the Drudge Report and WorldNetDaily for nearly a week now.” See also https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/

  8. Update says:

    A group of Australian high school students have created 3.7 grams of Daraprim’s active ingredient in their chemistry lab for just $20 – an amount that would sell in the US for between $35,000 and $110,000 at the current rate charged by Shkreli’s company.
    For perspective, a tablet’s worth of the students’ medicine costs just $2 to make, as opposed to the $750 Shkreli’s company Turing Pharmaceuticals sells it for in the US (the company cut the drug’s price by 50% for US hospitals following the backlash, but didn’t change the cost for private patients).
    Daraprim is on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines. It’s an anti-parasitic medicine that’s used to treat infections such as toxoplasmosis and malaria, particularly in those with low immunity, such as people with HIV, chemotherapy patients, and pregnant women.
    The Sydney Grammar School students have been trying to synthesize Daraprim’s active ingredient as part of an after-school chemistry program ever since the price increase was announced in September last year.” http://www.businessinsider.com/students-make-cheap-martin-shkreli-drug-2016-12 “…while the drug is still incredibly expensive in the US, in most countries, including Australia, it’s available for around $1 or $2 per tablet.
    That’s because the drug is out of patent, but Turing Pharmaceuticals controls its distribution in the States through a loophole called the ‘closed distribution model’.
    For DIY see http://malaria.ourexperiment.org/daraprim_synthesis

  9. Entr'Acte says:

    On June 26, pharma bro and “most hated man in America” Martin Shkreli will go on trial for securities fraud. Before then, you can watch the story of Shkreli and his infamous price-gouging of drugs for HIV and cancer patients in a wry off-Broadway musical, which is on until June 18 at the Players Theatre in downtown Manhattan. Titled “PharmaBro: An American Douchical”, it features a string of absurdist plots such as a dead member of the Wu-Tang Clan teaming up with actor Bill Murray to steal back “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin”, the one-of-a-kind hip-hop album that the real Martin Shkreli really purchased for $2 million. https://qz.com/983721/martin-shkreli-and-his-cancer-drug-price-gouging-have-made-for-a-catchy-off-broadway-musical/

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