Pharma bro Martin Shkreli: The feds only arrested me because I raised drug prices

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Last week, Martin Shkreli, the pharmaceutical executive who raised the price of a life-saving drug more than 5,000%, was arrested on securities fraud charges.


In a press conference Friday, U.S. prosecutor Robert Capers said Shkreli, "essentially ran his company like a Ponzi scheme where he used each subsequent company to pay off defrauded investors from the prior company." He is alleged to have lied to investors about the solvency of hedge funds he ran, and then used the investments to pay off money he previously owed.

But in an exclusive interview with the Wall Street Journal's Rob Copeland, Shkreli says he was targeted because of his behavior, and because he raised drug prices.

Surrounded by lawyers in a midtown Manhattan conference room Sunday afternoon, Shkreli told Copeland:

‘Trying to find anything we could to stop him,’ was the attitude of the government…Beating the person up and then trying to find the merits to make up for it—I would have hoped the government wouldn’t take that kind of approach.

He also said he was arrested "because of a social experiment and teasing people over the Internet,” adding, “that seems like a real injustice.”

Shkreli's Twitter account, which in the past he used to denounce his critics, appears to have been hacked yesterday, though the evidently forged Tweets have yet to be removed.


Copeland said Shkreli declined to answer specific questions about the allegations, or about his defensebut that it was "definitely not something [he] deserve[d] given the facts.”

Read the whole interview here »

Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.