Drug entrepreneur Martin Shkreli, 32, made himself infamous by hiking the price of life-saving generic pill from from $13.50 to $750. If you suspected that such a sterling human being might have fingers in other pies, you're not alone, as he's now been arrested on securities fraud charges.
Bloomberg's Christie Smythe and Keri Geiger write that the past is catching up with him.
The federal case against him has nothing to do with pharmaceutical costs, however. Prosecutors in Brooklyn charged him with illegally taking stock from Retrophin Inc., a biotechnology firm he started in 2011, and using it to pay off debts from unrelated business dealings. He was later ousted from the company, where he’d been chief executive officer, and sued by its board.
In the case that closely tracks that suit, federal prosecutors accused Shkreli of engaging in a complicated shell game after his defunct hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management, lost millions. He is alleged to have made secret payoffs and set up sham consulting arrangements. A New York lawyer, Evan Greebel, was also arrested early Thursday. He's accused of conspiring with Shkreli in part of the scheme.
The BBC describes him as The most hated man in America, but that doesn't get to the heart of it. There's a perfect compatibility between a new breed of completely unguarded narcissist and the ever-shallower way news is presented. The sweet spot might not last long, but while it does last, expect more Shreklis. Read the rest
Jerry Bance, a member of the Conservative Party of Canada, was running for office in Toronto. He is also the owner of XPress Appliance Service, a home repair company. In 2012 was caught on a hidden video urinating in a customer's coffee cup while on a service call. When the video recently came to light, Bance issued the following statement by way of apology:
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A Starbucks barista named Brad describes a guy who bought 365 Starbucks gift cards and registered each of them with a different birthday so he can get a free drink every day. That's already a dick move, but the guy makes it worse by being a real jerk to the barista. When he comes in to the store he asks for a Venti cup and a marker and writes instructions on the cup before handing it back:
He draws lines and arrows and writes all over the cup while telling me: “Two pumps of white mocha here, then add five pumps of vanilla. That should take us to this line here where you’re gonna add cold heavy cream up to this ridge here...it should be halfway between this line and this line. Make sure to add the heavy whipping cream before the espresso, it changes the taste if you do it out of order. Then add your four shots, three regular and one long shot. That long shot is important, since you guys reformulated your machines, it’s been Hell trying to get my drink right. That long shot helps balance it. Then stir it for me, Mister Brad. Now do me a favor and add ice to the top there and it’ll be easy as pie. I’m not picky so don’t worry about shaking it or anything like that.”
A drink like this is normally $6.50, which would make it ineligible for the free birthday coffee, so he instructs the barista to ring it up as a "one quad espresso, add white mocha, sub vanilla, sub heavy cream."
Read other "Stories of Horrible Restaurant Customers" at Kitchenette. Read the rest
A German tourist shot this video of a tour bus guide's racist rant against Chinatown. The tour guide is holding what appears to be an alcoholic beverage bottle. Unfortunately, the tourists applaud her, which gives her the encouragement to go on. Read the rest
Bob Tyrrell, founder and editor-in-chief of The American Spectator (the stupid person's idea of a smart magazine) enjoys scotch, which is sufficient reason to lock up everyone who doesn't share his taste in recreational drugs.
Both drinking and pot smoking are "coping mechanisms," he concedes, but alcohol is clearly more "civilized" because people can enjoy the taste, drink while reading or conversing, and imbibe without getting "blitzed." All this is either impossible or quite rare among cannabis consumers, Tyrrell asserts with the confidence of someone who has no idea what he's talking about.
Jacob Sullum: Because Bob Tyrrell Prefers Scotch, Marijuana Should Be Banned Read the rest
[Video Link] A US Embassy staffer has "departed" Malta after being filmed screaming expletive-laden threats at another driver on a narrow street. (Thanks, Matthew!) Read the rest
Former FEMA Director Michael “Can I come home?” Brown is upset with President Obama for responding to Hurricane Sandy “so quickly.”
“One thing he’s gonna be asked is, why did he jump on [the hurricane] so quickly and go back to D.C. so quickly when in…Benghazi, he went to Las Vegas?” Brown says. “Why was this so quick?… At some point, somebody’s going to ask that question…. This is like the inverse of Benghazi.”
Heckuva Job Brownie Criticizing Obama for Preparing Too Quickly (Via Cynical-C) Read the rest
I missed this great piece in the LA Weekly from a few weeks back about multi-millionaire yogi blowhard Bikram Choudhury. We've covered his antics before, but his copyrighty litigiousness just got interesting again.
Short version: Bikram is basically the Walter White of yoga. And I'm talking Breaking Bad Season 5 episode 6 Walter White. The "hot yoga" kingpin isn't in the yoga business or the money business, he's in the empire business, and he's suing his former apprentice and right-hand-dude Greg Gumucio for intellectual property infringement.
But now, the US Copyright office says it may have issued all protection related to yoga sequences in error, including the one Choudhury's suing over.
Random tech world connection: Choudhury was introduced to his now-nemesis by John McAfee, the software billionaire turned yoga teacher.
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The un-bylined author of the Cookies for Breakfast tumblog publishes the story of two female friends attending a standup performance by Daniel Tosh, host of the notably unfunny Comedy Central show Tosh.0, in which the comedian made some stupid rape jokes. Not that there are any other kind of rape jokes.
“Actually, rape jokes are never funny!,” the woman in the published account says she replied from the audience.
Snip from her version of what followed:
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I did it because, even though being “disruptive” is against my nature, I felt that sitting there and saying nothing, or leaving quietly, would have been against my values as a person and as a woman. I don’t sit there while someone tells me how I should feel about something as profound and damaging as rape.
After I called out to him, Tosh paused for a moment. Then, he says, “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…” and I, completely stunned and finding it hard to process what was happening but knowing i needed to get out of there, immediately nudged my friend, who was also completely stunned, and we high-tailed it out of there. It was humiliating, of course, especially as the audience guffawed in response to Tosh, their eyes following us as we made our way out of there. I didn’t hear the rest of what he said about me.
Zoe Williams examines the difference between trolls and the merely bad-mannered
. [The Guardian via The Awl
] Read the rest