Referred to as the ‘poster child of greed’ by Bernie Sanders (the American politician), named the ‘Most hated man in America’ by The Daily Beast in 2015 and notoriously known as ‘pharma bro’, Martin Shkreli is one of America’s most controversial businessmen.
Although he is currently imprisoned at the Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn for crimes related to securities fraud, Martin has enjoyed a huge amount of success as an entrepreneur and was the CEO of several companies ranging from hedge funds to Pharmaceuticals and software development firms.
Martin Shkreli is a born businessman, he started investing in well-established companies like Compaq and Amazon from the early age of 12. He considers Bill Gates his biggest influence and Mentor. Shkreli has been described as brilliant, quirky, fascinating, horrifying, malicious, and utterly compelling by people who have come in contact with him.
Martin Shkreli Wiki, Bio, Parents
Martin Shkreli was born on the 17th of March 1983 in Coney Island Hospital, Brooklyn; to Albanian parents. He has 3 siblings – two sisters and a brother; and his parents had to do odd jobs in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn to cater for them.
Shkreli attended the prestigious Hunter College High School – a secondary school for gifted students in Carnegie Hill, New York. Over time, he grew disenchanted with school and dropped out in the year 2000 at 17 to mysteriously become an intern at Cramer Berkowitz, a Wall Street hedge fund ran by then CNBC financial pundit, Jim Cramer.
Although Shkreli started out in the mailroom, he was soon noticed by Jim Cramer for his knack for spotting small biotech scams. He caught the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2003 for making accurate predictions on the failure of certain biotech firms (most notably, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals) in the stock market, thereby causing Cramer Berkowitz hedge funds to make huge profits by shorting these stocks.
He was suspected to have had inside sources in some of these companies and also considered a “mole” for Cramer Berkowitz. However, after proper investigation, the Securities and Exchange Commission couldn’t prove any shady dealing. Martin later attended Baruch College and received a BBA in Finance and Economics in 2004.
Martin Shkreli worked at Cramer Berkowitz for about four years and after his stint with Cramer Berkowitz hedge fund came to an end, he became a financial analyst for both Intrepid Capital Management and UBS Wealth Management. Due to the success and influence, he had at Cramer Berkowitz, Shkreli decided to start his own hedge fund named Elea Capital Management. But it soon folded up after a lawsuit from Lehman Brothers.
Martin Shkreli had made a bet of 2.6 million USD through Lehman Brothers that the market would decline. However the reverse was the case, so Lehman Brothers sued Martin Shkreli for his failure to cover ‘put option transaction’ when his prediction did not materialize. Shkreli refused to pay up and threatened to file for bankruptcy and although Lehman Brothers won the lawsuit and were supposed to be paid 2.3 million USD, during the 2008 global economic meltdown, they went underwater before they could collect the money due them. Hence, the verdict was vacated.
In 2009, Martin Shkreli co-founded another hedge fund called MSMB which is simply a combination of his initials, Martin Shkreli, and that of his childhood friend Marek Biestek. Shkreli and Biestek were notorious for shorting biotech stocks and castigating biotech companies on social media, highlighting their frailties and shortcomings with the sole aim of causing plunges in their stocks.
In February 2011 Martin Shkreli founded a pharmaceutical company called Retrophin (a subsidiary of MSMB) with the goal of providing cures for rare diseases. He would go on to short the stocks of Orexigen Therapeutics in that same year. This ended up being a disastrous move because he lost about 8 million USD which left MSMB almost bankrupt with a meager 60,000 USD worth of assets left to the company’s name.
MSMB had to suspend all forms of trading. Nevertheless, Shkreli continued sending investors’ progress reports insinuating that all was well with their investments and that they were making a maximum profit with MSMB. This information was later released by the FBI. They also revealed that Shkreli falsified documents by backdating them to imply that MSMB had invested in Retrophin but on the contrary, Shkreli had actually been siphoning money from Retrophin to pay off his personal debts as well as debts owed by MSMB capital management.
The board of directors of Retrophin’s pharmaceuticals eventually caught wind of Shkreli’s shady dealings in 2013 and after a comprehensive audit, the board voted Shkreli out as CEO and replaced him with Stephen Aselage in September 2014.
Before all his shady deals came to light, Martin became the 23rd name on Forbes ’30 under 30′ finance list in 2012.
The year 2015, was a very eventful year for Martin Shkreli. in February, like a moving train, Martin Shkreli started up another pharmaceutical company called Turing Pharmaceuticals. Turing is known for the development of three drugs, intranasal version of ketamine (for depression), oxytocin (which aids childbirth) and Vecamyl (for hypertension). In August of the same year, Retrophin having replaced Shkreli, went ahead to sue him to a tune of 65 million USD for his actions.
Shkreli came up with a business plan to buy licenses on out-of-patent drugs and try to rejuvenate them. This way, his company didn’t really have to bother about trying to put out new drugs and they get to spend less to achieve great profit. In accordance with his plan, Shkreli and Turing Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to market a toxoplasmosis treatment medicine (commonly used by AIDS patients) called Daraprim. Shkreli increased the price of one pill of Daraprim by an exorbitant 5,000% ($13-$750). He received severe backlash and criticism for his actions but he remained adamant and did nothing to reduce the cost of the drug.
In November, together with other investors, he bought KaloBios Pharmaceuticals because of their patented drug called Benznidazole (used to treat Chagas disease). As a result of this move, the shares of KaloBios increased by 400% and although he wanted to remain CEO of both Turing and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, he stepped down as CEO of Turing and was fired from KaloBios after he was arrested for securities fraud in December.
Despite the fact that Shkreli denied the charges levied against him and was granted bail for 5million USD, it didn’t stop the shares of KaloBios from taking a 50% dip. Martin Shkreli had to resort to live-streaming his life to his 200,000 subscribers on YouTube to fill up his time.
Martin Shkreli 2016 – 2017
In 2016, Shkreli started up a professional software company called Gödel Systems and tweeted that he would plead the fifth when he was subpoenaed to appear before a House Oversight Committee.
On the 4th of August 2017 after a fair trial, he was found guilty of two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He was found not guilty of the remaining five counts of fraud he was charged with and due to his five not guilty verdicts he made bail, but his bail was revoked when he made a controversial post on Facebook offering the sum of 5000 USD for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair.
He is currently serving time at the Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn and would be there until the 16th of January 2018 when his final sentencing would be made known.
Martin Shkreli’s Wife/Girlfriend
To the best of our knowledge, Martin Shkreli is currently single and has no wife or girlfriend. This doesn’t come as a big surprise, his egregious and controversial lifestyle isn’t the most attractive. Other than that, however, Martin never truly had time for anything that was not business-related. He spent all of his time founding companies and making deals. He seems to be a bit too selfish and overly ambitious to consider settling with someone. Moreover, he has more pressing matters at hand and would be understandably more concerned about his freedom.
Is He Dead?
From the way Martin Shkreli handled business, it is no wonder death hoaxes have been flying around about him. However, they are just hoaxes as he is obviously not dead as dead people do not serve trial.
Martin Shkreli is currently in prison and not dead.
Martin Shkreli Net Worth, Car
Shkreli’s net worth was previously estimated to be 45 million USD but was later reported to be a little under 40 million USD because he leveraged his 4 million USD E-Trade account for his bail.
However, a more recent look at his assets after his trial has placed his net worth at 70 million USD.
His wealth has given him certain proclivities like collecting rare albums worth millions of dollars. He bought a single copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for an alarming 2 million USD and also offered to be the sole owner of Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo for 15 million USD.
Shkreli bought an unreleased tracklist from Lil Wayne’s Carter V album and leaked some of the tracks online but Lil Wayne threatened to sue so Shkreli promised to stop leaking the tracks. He actually bought the unreleased tracklist from an anonymous buyer of Lil Wayne’s Bugatti.