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.