Shkreli, CEO Reviled for Drug Price Gouging, Arrested on Securities Fraud Charges

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

CompaniesKaloBios shares halted on report of CEO Shkreli arrest.

Shares in KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, a US biotechnology company, have been suspended in New York following reports its chief executive Martin Shkreli has been arrested.

Martin Shkreli – the buyer of Wu Tang Clan’s multi-million dollar, one-of-a-kind album – has hit out at the hip-hop group, saying he feels “insulted” and “pissed off” by recent comments they made in the press.The much-hated pharmaceutical entrepreneur who jacked up the price of a life-saving AIDS pill by more than 5,000% was arrested for securities fraud, according to reports. Martin Shkreli, Turing Pharma’s CEO who bought Wu Tang’s one-of-a-kind album for a reported $2 million earlier this month, was taken into FBI custody early Thursday amid a federal investigation related to his former companies. The company’s stock was trading at less than $1 before he made the move, and the stock subsequently rose to as high as $39.50, giving the company a market value of more than $100 million.

While notorious for his work at the helm of the drug company, Shkreli’s fraud charge comes from his previous work leading a biotech firm and a hedge fund. Prosecutors have charged Shkreli with illegally taking stock from Retrophin Inc., a biotechnology firm he started in 2011, and using it pay off debts from unrelated business dealings. He was also a major investor in record label Collect Records, who later severed ties with the man who was described as the “most hated man on the Internet”. In a new interview, he confirmed that he purchased the record (which he is not allowed to release publicly for 88 years) for $2 million (£1.3 million).

The group’s de-facto leader RZA recently hinted that he wouldn’t have sold the album to Shkreli had he known of the Daraprim at the time. “The sale of ‘Once Upon a Time in Shaolin’ was agreed upon in May, well before Martin Skhreli’s [sic] business practices came to light. We decided to give a significant portion of the proceeds to charity,” he said in a statement. “I’m the most successful Albanian to ever walk the face of this Earth,” he claimed. “I bought the album. [There’s a] big fucking check in RZA and Cilvaringz’ pocket now, but [now] they’re starting to turn up on me”. “The Albanian community is a very weird community. We’re some of the most tight-knit kind-of kill for each other, die for each other motherfuckers there are,” he added. “People say it’s one of the craziest ethnicities there is in terms of their loyalty and bloodlines and shit like that.” Skhreli added: “This [Wu-Tang] thing is starting to get pretty tense. I felt insulted..” “You’ve got to research Albanians, it’s the most hot tempered culture there is,” Skhreli continued. “I have a crazy temper myself. He doesn’t want to get me angry and I’m getting angry.” In the same interview, Skhreli spoke of the possibility of paying for Bobby Shmurda’s bail after the rapper was arrested last year over allegations of gang violence.

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