Karma has finally come for Martin Shkreli, America’s most hated man. The hedge-fund manager who became notorious for buying the rights to critical anti-parasite drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS patients and then jacking up the price by 5000% (from $13.50 to $750!) has found himself in a sticky situation. The personification of capitalist excess, white privilege, and disgusting smugness has found himself arrested by federal authorities for securities fraud. After the outrage over his price-gouging ways died down, he broke his public promise and refused to lower the price of Daraprim. He recently acquired KaloBios Pharmaceuticals and is planning to raise the price of courses of benznidazole, used to treat a disease in Latin America known as “Chagas,” from $100 to $100,000. His utter lack of remorse from ripping off the sick only makes this news even sweeter.
As the indictment has not yet been unsealed, details are sketchy at the moment. Evan L. Greebel, a corporate lawyer at Kaye Scholer, also found himself in cuffs in relation to the issue. Early details indicate the charges stem from his tenure at Retrophin, the first company where Shkreli played greedy games with the lives of the sick, where he raised the “price of Thiola, used to treat a disease that causes kidney stones, to $30 a pill from $1.50.”
He apparently also used the company as a “personal piggy bank” to pay off investors from other failed financial ventures, for which he was fired by the board in September 2014. Retrophin did not mince their words with their complaints about the scumbag:
“Shkreli was the paradigm faithless servant. Starting sometime in early 2012, and continuing until he left the company, Shkreli used his control over Retrophin to enrich himself and to pay off claims of MSMB investors (who he had defrauded).”
Shkreli represents the most despicable aspects of capitalist greed, the endemic corruption of Wall Street, and the sociopathic lack of empathy shown by the mega-wealthy. It’s about time justice is finally served and this monster is put behind bars.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.