Martin Shkreli is an American entrepreneur, CEO and founder of three major companies bringing his estimated net worth to $100 million dollars. He was born on April 1st, 1983 in Brooklyn, New York. Shkreli has helped start three companies, including co-founding MSMB Capitol Management, co-founder and former CEO of Retrophin, and founder and former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals.
Shkreli was raised in a working class family. At the age of 17, he did an internship at Cramer, Berkowitz & Company, a Wall Street hedge fund business. He went on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Baruch College in New York. After his internship and a number of other positions in the business sector, Shkreli started his first hedge fund company Elea Capitol Management in 2006 at the age of 23.
Although his first business was not very successful, two years later Shkreli co-founded another hedge fund company, MSMB Capitol Management in 2008. Shkreli used short-selling techniques as a way to gain profits for the company. Using the profits gained at MSMB, Shkreli co-founded a biotechnology firm called Retrophin in 2011 and sat as the CEO for three years until he was replaced in 2014.
Shortly after Shkreli had departed from Retrophin, the company launched a lawsuit against him regarding his use of the company’s funds. The allegations spurred from his use of Retrophin’s funds to boost the troubled MSMB Capitol Management. In early 2015, Shkreli formed a pharmaceutical company called Turing Pharmaceuticals. The focus of the company was to acquire the licenses on medicines with expired patents and re-evaluate the prices. This business plan created a major controversy when Turing Pharmaceuticals bought the rights for the drug Daraprim, which had an expired patent from 1953 and no existing generic versions.
Turing increased the price of the drug by 5,556% from $13.50 per pill to $750 each. The business move was highly criticized by the public, various health care organizations and three presidential candidates. In November of 2015, Shkreli also became the CEO of biopharmaceutical company KaloBios Pharmaceuticals. He was terminated as CEO a month later in December of 2015, in which the company also filed for bankruptcy.
Shkreli was arrested on December 17th, 2015 by the FBI and charged with securities fraud after an investigation resulted in allegations of a Ponzi-like scheme with the operation of his two companies, MSMB Capitol Management and Retrophin. He has received negative remarks from the likes of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders for his practices. In 2016 he was also on the receiving end of a case filed by the IRS for allegations of nearly $4.6 million dollars of unpaid taxes.