In an interview with the Wall Street Journal just days after he was arrested on charges of securities fraud, ex-Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli accused authorities of targeting him for his decision to raise the price of a life-saving HIV drug from $13.50 to $750 earlier this year. Shkreli stands accused of running a Ponzi-like scheme between 2009 and 2014 at his former hedge fund and a company he headed before Turing.
“You know, the press conference they put on was unacceptable,” Shkreli told the Journal Sunday, referring to the conference held Thursday by the U.S. Attorney Robert Capers. “They used the term ‘Ponzi,’ or ‘Ponzi-like,’ which is nowhere near reality. The indictment doesn’t use that word.”
Shkreli was charged Thursday with securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy related to his management of hedge fund MSMB Capital Management, where he lost investors’ money through bad trades, and biopharmaceutical company Retrophin, which he allegedly looted to pay back his clients.
If convicted, Shkreli -- who stepped down as Turing’s CEO Friday -- faces 20 years in prison.
However, following release on a $5 million bail, Shkreli, who has, since September, been called a “morally bankrupt sociopath” and “the most hated man in America,” among other things, rejected the allegations, calling them “baseless and without merit.”
In his interview with the Journal, Shkreli added that he was arrested “because of a social experiment and teasing people over the Internet.”
“Quite frankly, it was not something I expected, and definitely not something I deserve given the facts. … That seems like a real injustice.”
“Most people don’t know the real Martin Shkreli,” he told the Journal. “I think it would make sense to show them.”