After a trial lasting less than six weeks, price-gouging, blood-sucking, predatory capitalist vampire Martin Shkreli has been convicted on three counts of securities fraud. Arguably the most hated white-collar criminal in history, 34-year-old Shkreli came to public attention last year when one of his pharmaceutical companies, Turing, purchased the rights to a prescription drug Daraprim and raised the price from $13.50 to a whopping $750 for a single pill – and publicly gloated over his reprehensible action.
Like the arrogant ass that he is, Shkreli refused to answer questions before a Congressional committee last year, before which he was called upon to justify his larcenous price hike, invoking his “Fifth Amendment Rights” and responding with insults. What was not generally known at that time is that Shkreli was under a federal criminal investigation in connection with another one of this companies, Retrophin. According to prosecutors, Shkreli used the publicly-traded company as his personal bank account, using company assets to repay clients who had invested in two hedge funds he managed, MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare.
Shkreli lied to investors about the amount of money he had raised for MSMB Capital, then made a bad judgment call: in February 2011, he did what is known as a “naked short sale.” This is one example of the kind of “casino gambling” Wall Street engages in frequently; it is similar to Fred selling Barney’s car or property without his permission or knowledge, hoping he’ll make enough money on the transaction to cover any obligations before Barney finds out. To make a long story short, the account lost $7 million and the hedge fund was wiped out. In order to cover his behind, Shkreli created the other hedge fund, MSMB Healthcare, and founded Retrophin, according to the complaint, “so that he could continue trading after MSMB Capital became insolvent and to create an asset that he might be able to use to placate his MSMB Capital investors.” When the chickens came home to roost and understandably upset investors began demanding their money, Shkreli essentially robbed Peter in order to pay Paul, siphoning off Retrophin assets in order to pay them off.