Ex-pharma CEO Shkreli calls fraud charges ‘baseless’

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

Arrested Pharma CEO Martin Shkreli Says He Is Being Unfairly Targeted.

Federal investigators are picking on Martin Shkreli because he dared to boost Daraprim sales 50-fold, the “Pharma bro” said in his first interview following Thursday’s surprise arrest.

Disgraced ex-pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli claims he has been targeted by legal authorities because of his much-hated drug price hikes and his over-the-top public persona.”We have been working with Twitter to get it fixed,” Craig Stevens, a spokesman for the former chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, said in an email to Reuters.Martin Shkreli, former boss at Turing Pharmaceuticals and the guy famous for putting the price of Aids drugs up by 5,000%, has had his Twitter account hacked. The former pharmaceutical executive hasn’t left his Midtown Manhattan apartment since investigators accused the 32-year-old of securities fraud and moonlighting as a dastardly online troll likely merited legal scrutiny, he told the Wall Street Journal Sunday. “Quite frankly, it was not something I expected, and definitely not something I deserve given the facts,” Shkreli said, defending himself to the paper.

Earlier this year, after buying a 60-year-old drug called Daraprim, Turing, another company he headed, raised the price overnight to $750 a tablet from $13.50. He has actively defended his business practices on Twitter, tweeting as recently as Saturday that the allegations against him were ‘baseless.’ Stevens said he was checking whether Shkreli’s YouTube live stream, which he had been broadcasting from a day after leaving jail, had also been hacked. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation against Shkreli dates back to 2012 with an alleged Ponzi-scheme cooked up as he led Retrophin, but the case heated up in September as his name made waves of outrage for raising the price on his infection-fighting drug from $13.50 to $750.

The drug is used by AIDS patients to treat toxoplasmosis. “Beating the person up and then trying to find the merits to make up for it — I would have hoped the government wouldn’t take that approach,” Shkreli said. As well as a series of expletive-riddled tweets, hackers also made reference to the Wu-Tang Clan album that Shrekli paid $2 million for – the only copy the group was selling to the public that was bought by the ex-pharma executive. The SEC complaint accuses Shkreli of a string of abuses, including exaggerating to hedge-fund investors his investment performance and assets under management. The 32-year-old, who tussled with presidential candidates and boasted of his romantic prowess on social media, now says that behavior has been “a bit of an act.” “What do you do when you have the attention of millions of people? Despite the bad rep, Shkreli insists no one knows him, not even the hundreds that pour into a live stream to watch him play chess and comb through dating websites.

Shkreli recently emerged as the €2million buyer of the sole copy of what has been called the world’s rarest album: the Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, which the group auctioned to only one person on the condition that it not be put to commercial use. ‘I’m staring at a Picasso in my living room right now that’s no different from the Wu-Tang box, except it’s about 20 times more expensive,’ he told HipHopDX.

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