Pharma boss Martin Shkreli arrested on fraud charges

Representatives for pharmaceutical boss Martin Shkreli, who sparked outrage after hiking up the price of a medicine used by Aids patients, say he strongly denies fraud charges.

He is accused of fraud relating to a drug company he previously headed, Retrophin, and a hedge fund, MSMB 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 later bailed on payment of a $5m (£3.3m) bond package and allowed home.

A spokesman for Mr Shkreli said he expected to be “fully vindicated”.

Mr Shkreli was accused of running a “Ponzi scheme” where Retrophin assets were illegally used to pay off debts after MSMB lost millions of dollars.

At a news conference on Thursday, US Attorney Robert Capers, said: “Shkreli engaged in multiple schemes to ensnare investors through a web of lies and deceit.”

FBI prosecutors allege Mr Shkreli cheated the company’s investors out of $11m (£7.3m).

The US Securities and Exchange Commission also charged him with defrauding investors in his hedge fund to hide poor investment choices.

The SEC alleged Mr Shkreli took $120,000 from one fund to use on personal expenses – including his clothes and rent- told investors in another fund it had $35m in assets when it really had less than $7,000 and stole $900,000 from a fund in 2013 to pay a legal settlement.

Price hike

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. – BBC