America's Least Favorite Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli Just Got Arrested by the Feds

The 32-year-old who rose to national prominence when he raised the price of Daraprim, a drug that treats toxoplasmosis, from $13.50 to $750 overnight, got booked for securities fraud early Thursday.

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Dec 17 2015, 2:19pm

AIDS activists and others are asked to leave the lobby during a protest highlighting pharmaceutical drug pricing. AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File

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Martin Shkreli, the 32-year-old hedge fund and pharmaceutical industry guru who alienated large swaths of America by dramatically jacking up the price of a life-saving drug this September, was arrested by the FBI at his home in Manhattan early Thursday morning, as Bloomberg reports.

Shkreli first rose to national prominence when he raised the price of Daraprim, a drug that treats toxoplasmosis, from $13.50 to $750 overnight. The move drew condemnations from across the political spectrum, as well as the scrutiny of Congress, but after briefly suggesting he would walk back the price hike, Shkreli decided to go ahead with it. He even teased plans to acquire the rights to—and significantly raise the price of—another infectious disease treatment earlier this month.

But Shkreli, who bolstered the legions of haters when he paid $2 million to acquire the only copy of the new Wu-Tang album in existence, is not being charged for price-gouging. Instead, the charges, brought by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, are for securities fraud—and closely mirror a lawsuit brought by his former employer, the biopharmaceutical company Retrophin, which ousted him as chief executive in September of last year.

That suit, filed this past August, alleged Shkreli—now CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals—was using Retrophin as a sort of slush fund to pay off investors in at his old hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management.

A press conference was expected to be held later Thursday by US Attorney Robert L. Capers—who just got confirmed by the US Senate two days ago—to detail the charges.

Earlier this month, Bloomberg wrote that Shkreli hadn't listened to the Wu-Tang album yet and "he's saving that for a time when he's feeling low and needs something to lift his spirits." That record might be getting a spin soon.