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Thursday, December 17, 2015
Pharma boss Martin Shkreli arrested on fraud charges
Pharmaceutical boss Martin Shkreli, who sparked outrage after hiking up the price of an established medicine, has been arrested on separate fraud charges.
He is accused of fraud relating to a drug company he previously headed, Retrophin, and a hedge fund, MSNB Capital Management, where he was a fund manager.
He is currently chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals.
Mr Shkreli was arrested by the FBI.
He was arrested in Manhattan, New York, accused of illegally using Retrophin assets to pay off debts after MSMB lost millions of dollars, reports Reuters news agency.
In September he was lambasted after hiking up the price of popular medicine Daraprim by 5,000% - from $13.50 to $750 - prompting unfavourable reaction on social media.
The drug treats toxoplasmosis, a parasitic affliction that affects people with compromised immune systems, and is used by Aids patients.
The move led presidential candidate Hilary Clinton to vow to tackle the problem of price gouging by pharmaceutical companies.
Analysts said that the issue had since led to volatility in pharma shares.
In November, Mr Skhreli was also made chief executive of KaloBios Pharmaceuticals.
The FBI's investigation dates back at least to January, when Retrophin said it received a subpoena from prosecutors seeking information about its relationship with Shkreli.
Retrophin, which Shkreli founded in 2011, sued its former boss in August for misuse of company funds.
Retrophin's board members chose to replace Shkreli as chief executive of the company in September 2014.
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