An exclusive interview with the new poster child of capitalistic greed.
Read our profile on Martin Shkreli here.
Martin Shkreli is a 32-year-old entrepreneur. A modern day Horatio Alger story, Shkreli grew up the son of two janitors in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, hustled his way into the hedge fund game, and is now worth at least $45 million. Although he made his money betting against the pharmaceutical industry, Shkreli switched to running drug companies in 2012.
In August of last year, one of his companies, Turing Pharmaceuticals, acquired the rights to a drug called Daraprim that treats an infection called toxoplasmosis. The disease affects pregnant women, AIDS patients, and others with immunodeficiencies. When Turing raised the price of the pill by more than 5,000 percent overnight, Shkreli became the poster child for capitalistic greed.
While most pharma tycoons would slink away from the spotlight after a flogging like Shkreli endured, he took the bad-boy image and ran with it, flaunting his trollish behavior in the media. Over the past year he has funded an indie record label, claimed he would bail Bobby Shmurda out of jail (but only if Shmurda recorded some tracks for him), and purchased the singular copy of a legendary Wu-Tang Clan album with no immediate plans to let anyone outside of his apartment hear it.
In December, Shkreli was indicted on securities fraud charges and is now under investigation by Congress and the Federal Trade Commission for price gouging, so his time in the spotlight is not over yet.
I caught up with him at his Midtown apartment to meet the man behind the headlines.