A boyish drug company entrepreneur, who rocketed to infamy by jacking up the price of a life-saving pill from $13.50 to $750, was arrested by federal agents at his Manhattan home early Thursday morning on securities fraud related to a firm he founded.Nothing terrible happens to you in this country if you shaft ordinary people. We saw that after the financial collapse. Shaft members of the investor class, however, and you really might face the law's wrath. Ordinary schmucks aren't full citizens. Want justice? Buy financial instruments. If you can't, tough luck -- the law doesn't care what happens to you.
Martin Shkreli, 32, ignited a firestorm over drug prices in September and became a symbol of defiant greed. The federal case against him has nothing to do with pharmaceutical costs, however. Prosecutors in Brooklyn charged him with illegally taking stock from Retrophin Inc., a biotechnology firm he started in 2011, and using it to pay off debts from unrelated business dealings. He was later ousted from the company, where he’d been chief executive officer, and sued by its board....
Retrophin sued Shkreli in August for misuse of company funds, claiming he engineered numerous transactions between investors in MSMB and the biotechnology firm. Similar allegations are laid out in the company's regulatory filings.
The company alleged in a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court that, through a disastrous trade with Merrill Lynch in 2011, Shkreli cost MSMB more than $7 million, leaving it virtually bankrupt.
Shrkeli screwed the wrong people, so I suppose he really could go to prison. However, I expect him to play the "troubled white guy" card, in court and possibly in the media. All the "bad boy" nonsense -- the incessant boasting, the taunting tweets, the $2 million purchase of that one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan CD, the claim that he seeks to bail out imprisoned rapper Bobby Shmurda and also might pursue a rap career of his own -- I predict is going to be presented in court as a textbook case of bipolar disorder, or some condition on the autistic spectrum, that impairs Shkreli's judgment and renders him less than fully liable for his own acts.
We know that blacks arrested for violent crimes are always "thugs" and Muslims are always "terrorists," whereas even white guys who commit mass murder are "loners," "troubled" and "misunderstood." Will Shrkeli try to play the "troubled" card? It might not work, but that's what I'm betting on.