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Pharma pariah Martin Shkreli arrested on suspicion of securities fraud

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The man who bought Wu-Tang's $2 million album might have done it with tainted money

Martin Shkreli / YouTube

Notoriety comes easily to 32-year-old drug company entrepreneur Martin Shkreli, who has managed to offend almost as many people as Donald Trump without having the platform of a nationwide presidential campaign to help him. His offenses might be more than just moral, however, as today Bloomberg reports that he's been arrested on suspicion of securities fraud.

Shkreli first came into the public eye after his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, acquired the rights to an AIDS drug and jacked up its price to extortionate levels. But before Turing, he was head of Retrophin, another drug company, and it's the way he managed its affairs and funds that is the subject of the federal investigation against him. Retrophin's current management alleges that Shkreli misused and misappropriated money from that company to pay off failed investments from his now-defunct hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management.

Price gouging isn't under investigation here

The present probe into Shkreli's activities while still Retrophin CEO has been in progress since at least the beginning of this year, and now prosecutors have finally established sufficient grounds to arrest the Turing CEO. Shkreli's ruthless tactics have been in evidence for a long time, with his earliest success as a trader coming from short-selling pharmaceutical stocks. He has been unrepentant about his profiteering ways so far and most recently demonstrated his penchant for conspicuous consumption by purchasing the Wu-Tang Clan's $2 million Once Upon a Time in Shaolin album.

When asked about whether he would share the Wu-Tang album with anyone else, Shkreli this week responded in the style that has made him a public pariah: "I’m not going to play it for no reason. If Taylor Swift wants to come over and suck my dick, I’ll play it for her."