Martin Shkreli, the most hated man in pharmaceuticals and whatever zip code he’s currently in, was arrested by federal agents early Thursday morning at his midtown Manhattan apartment.
Though Shkreli made headlines with his decision to hike up the price of a lifesaving AIDS drug by 4,000 percent before expressing regret he hadn’t charged more, the securities fraud charges are actually linked to a biotechnology firm he founded in 2011 called Retrophin Inc.
The criminal charges also mirror a civil suit, filed by Retrophin in August, that accuse Shkreli of using the company as a “personal piggybank” to pay off unhappy customers at his defunct hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management—in some cases hiring them as sham employees on the company payroll.
According to Newsweek, a total of 612,000 shares of Retrophin and $400,000 in cash were “distributed to former investors who had sued both MSMB and Shkreli personally” and reported as compensation for consulting work.
At the time, Shkreli accused the company of filing suit to avoid paying him his severance package.
The criminal indictment also reportedly names a host of other transactions that, according to Newsweek, involve “such a vast number of suspected crimes it is difficult to know where to start.” Among them:
For example, MSMB made a $900,000 investment in Retrophin. Afterward, on February 1, 2012, the investment was reclassified as a loan. That would be as if an investor purchased a share in Microsoft and then later demanded full repayment of the purchase price plus interest, regardless of the market price for the stock.
The $900,000 plus interest was returned to MSMB on March 31, 2013. That same day, another $575,000 was paid to Shkreli as a purported performance bonus; all of that money, in fact, allegedly went directly to pay for settlement of arbitration against MSMB and Shkreli. Then, according to the data obtained by the government, the company paid or forgave another $1.2 million of obligations primarily for the benefit of MSMB, none of which was disclosed.
Update 11 a.m.