Hedge fund founder turned pharmaceutical CEO/provocative asshole Martin Shkreli has had a very bad week, which finally hit rock bottom today (or DID it?) when he resigned as chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals. "I don’t see how he can run this company anymore," one anonymous investor told the Times of the move. "There’s no way it doesn’t hurt the company."
Ron Tilles, Turing's chairman, will step in as interim chief executive. A Turing spokesperson said Tilles would not be granting interviews.
Shkreli, who posted $5 million bail yesterday afternoon after being arraigned on securities fraud charges, had founded Turing earlier this year after leaving his previous biopharmecutical firm Retrophin. He reached public notoriety after raising the price of Daraprim, a drug used to treat rare, life-threatening cases of toxoplasmosis, from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill.
Federal prosecutors have accused Shkreli, as well as his lawyer, of orchestrating a Ponzi scheme using Shkreli's various companies in order to dupe investors out of their money. Among other things, the 32-year-old allegedly bragged to a hedge fund investor that there was $35 million in the fund's accounts, while there was only $700. Shkreli and attorney Evan Greebel are also accused of lying about the fund's success while trying to pay the investors with stock from Retrophin.
Glad to be home. Thanks for the support.
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) December 18, 2015
Since the arrest, there has been a lot of discussion of whether the Feds could seize Shkreli's one-of-a-kind copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. There also have been extremely creepy videos circulated online of Shkreli flirting with teenagers over livestream.
If this all isn't schadenfreudey enough for you, check out Shkreli's quotes from a Vanity Fair profile coming out in January in which he compares himself to robber barons: "The attempt to public shame is interesting," says Shkreli. "Because everything we’ve done is legal. [Standard Oil tycoon John D.] Rockefeller made no attempt to apologize as long as what he was doing was legal."
Legal being the operative word.