Defiant Shkreli hits back at feds, says arrest was driven by his price hikes
- Former Turing Pharma and KaloBios CEO Martin Shkreli isn't taking his indictment on securities and wire fraud charges lying down. In fact, the combative investor and biopharma exec is saying that his now-infamous drug price hikes for medications like Daraprim (and pugnacious online persona) are the real reason for his arrest.
- "'Trying to find anything we could to stop him,' was the attitude of the government," said Shkreli on Sunday, according to the Wall Street Journal. He also referred to his constant belittlement of critics on Twitter as a "social experiment" that's wound up putting a target on his back.
- Shkreli is charged with illegally using funds from his former biotech Retrophin in order to pay off investors at his former hedge funds MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare in what federal authorities have described as a "Ponzi-like" scheme. He is facing both federal criminal charges and a civil SEC complaint.
Shkreli isn't planning on going gently into that good night. Through his Twitter feed, he's hit back at the FBI and the SEC since his arrest on Thursday (and subsequent release on $5 million bond), alleging that he's being persecuted for his unpopular business practices and that the government is misinterpreting "complex" accounting tactics from his time at Retrophin and MSMB as malfeasance.
"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 kind of approach," said Shkreli on Sunday.
There's nothing illegal about Shkreli's price hikes under U.S. law. But as BioPharma Dive has previously reported, that doesn't mean that the industry can rest easy about public scrutiny over high drug prices just because one particularly controversial face of the biopharma sector may be out of the picture.
- Wall Street Journal Martin Shkreli Says Drug-Price Hikes Led to Arrest