Karma Comes to “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, and it is BEAUTIFUL
When you hear stories about guys like Martin Shkreli, who became “the most hated man in America” after buying the rights to an HIV treatment drug from $13 dollars a pill to $750, one can only hope that karma not only exists – but that she is the magnificent bitch that she is supposed to be. Well, karma did not disappoint in the case of Shkreli, or “Pharma Bro”, as the internet so lovingly dubbed him. He was arrested on December 17th at his Manhattan house and things are looking really, really bad fo him.
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Shkreli’s arrest had nothing to do with his price hike of the drug Daraprim, no matter how much everyone wanted it to be. As it turns out Shkreli was just a bad guy in general, which is about as surprising as ice in Antarctica. Apparently he has a long history of bankrupting companies to pay off debts to previous companies that he has worked for. According to Robert Capers, the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney, “Shkreli essentially ran his company like a Ponzi scheme where he used each subsequent company to pay off defrauded investors from the prior company.”
Now even though Shkreli’s arrest didn’t have anything to do with his price gouging scheme, the attention he gained from that whole situation certainly didn’t help. It turns out that when you piss off the entire planet by being an asshole, people start digging into your business dealings. I mean, this is a guy who in the wake of the Daraprim fall-out said in an interview when asked what he would have done differently: “I probably would have raised the price higher. My investors expect me to maximize profits.”
Shkreli has a history of losing millions of dollars and using new investments to pay off his debts. In 2011, Shkreli launched a company called MSMB Healthcare with a $5million dollar investment where he apparently paid himself “far in excess” of what he’d agreed to pay himself and even invested money from MSMB Healthcare into his own company, Retrophin. The problem is that according to prosecutors, Retrophin had “had no products or assets.” Apparently as Shkreli continued losing money at every turn, he started lying and scheming. He fabricated portfolio statements, backdated records, created phoney loan agreements, and falsified agreements that funneled Retrophin’s money to investors that he owed money to.
In the only statement yet released on Shkreli’s behalf, the connection to Shkreli’s recent activities is being blamed for his arrest. The statement says, “It is no coincidence that these charges, the result of investigations which have been languishing for considerable time, have been filed at the same time of Shkreli’s high-profile, controversial and yet unrelated activities. The government suggested that Mr. Shkreli was involved in a Ponzi scheme. Ponzi victims do not make money, yet Mr. Shkreli’s investors enjoyed strong results.”
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Personally, I’m glad to see the pictures of the usually eccentric and animated “Pharma Bro” being lead away in handcuffs. People like Shkreli have no place in this world as far as I am concerned. I personally want to thank karma for stepping up and making sure that people like him who live for nothing more than greed and corruption get their lives ruined just like the lives of the people who he stole money from. Maybe someday Shkreli’s legacy will be “why not to be a money-hungry asshole”.