It’s safe to say that virtually no one in the United States likes hedge fund manager-turned-pharmaceutical king Martin Shkreli very much. A man so arrogant and obnoxious that he makes Donald Trump seem humble by comparison, Shkreli irked the anger of millions last summer when he purchased Turing Pharmaceuticals solely so he could hike the price of a very crucial prescription drug used for people with low immunities.
Possessing less maturity than a litter of newborn kittens, Shkreli would often lash out against anyone who would dare question his actions. He famously issued a YouTube video in which he virtually thumbed his nose at those who criticized his Daraprim price hike. After blowing $2 million on a rare Wu Tang Clan record, he dared to pick a fight with the rap group, demanding their respect as if it was a God-given right, not something a person has to earn in order to receive it. Shkreli often appeared in televised interviews sporting an arrogant smirk, behaving like he was better than the rest of us plebeians.
Shkreli represents the absolute worst humanity has to offer, which is why virtually the entire country rejoiced when the FBI arrested him Thursday morning. According to FBI investigators, Shkreli committed securities fraud, wire fraud and embezzlement by instituting a Ponzi scheme of Madoffesque proportions.
FBI officials allege that Shkreli used company funds and profits from his first pharmaceutical company Retrophin to pay off investors in his hedge fund charges. Apparently, Shkreli exaggerated the financial returns of investments made through his MSTB Capital hedge fund company. When investors threatened to sue, Shkreli decided to dip into Retrophin’s company funds to pay off his investors.
The FBI entered the picture in 2014 when Retrophin’s board of directors noticed very questionable financial figures cooked up by Shkreli and his head counsel Evan Greebel. When neither man was willing to give the board a straight answer, the board didn’t hesitate to oust both men from Retrophin.
Somehow despite the negative word on the street and cloudy circumstances surrounding his ouster, Shkreli managed to charm other investors into giving him $90 million to start Turing. Although no evidence has turned up as of yet, I’m willing to believe that Shkreli used Turing Pharmaceuticals for similar purposes. Judging from the fact that Turing’s board of directors has forced Shkreli to resign and cut off all contact with him, chances are they must be thinking the same thing I am.
Inexplicably, Shkreli was released on $5 million bail, despite being a devious, untrustworthy crook who could be a serious flight risk. He should have been thrown into the nearest jail cell, with the key tossed out into the trash. Shkreli is the kind of parasite who is a blight on the greater good of humanity. His dangerous price hike of Daraprim from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill endangered the lives of millions dependent on the drug for sheer survival. For that alone, he deserves to rot in a dingy prison cell without any plush amenities.
As for that Wu Tang Clan album he purchased, I suggest a different album for Shkreli, one that is awfully appropriate given his future fate: Merle Haggard’s ‘Life in Prison’. Johnny Cash’s ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ might also work. However, I’d skip ‘Jailhouse Rock’ or ‘Prisoners of Love’.