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US: CEO who price gouged HIV drug charged with securities fraud

 |  December 17, 2015

The reviled poster boy of drug price hikes perpetuated a Ponzi scheme on investors in a hedge fund and pharmaceutical company he had founded and previously led, prosecutors alleged Thursday.

Martin Shkreli, a pharmaceutical industry entrepreneur previously criticized for raising the price of life-saving drugs such as those used to fight HIV and cancer, was arrested early Thursday in New York City and indicted on criminal and civil securities fraud charges.

Shkreli’s detention was not related to drug prices but instead stems from allegations by federal prosecutors that he illegally took stock from Retrophin — a biotechnology company he started in 2011 and exited in 2014 — to pay off unrelated debts.

Evan Greebel, a New York lawyer who served as Retrophin’s outside counsel, was also arrested on similar charges, FBI spokeswoman Kelly Langmesser said.

Prosecutors charged Shkreli with two counts of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, three counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of securities fraud. The US Securities and Exchange Commission concurrently filed a separate civil complaint.

Shkreli potentially faces a maximum 20-year federal prison term if convicted on the top conspiracy count.

Full content: The Washington Post

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