Disgraced biotech guru and hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli clearly has a problem with his ego. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal following his arrest for defrauding a public company he managed to pay off losses in his hedge fund, Shkreli had the gall to say he was targeted by federal authorities because of his efforts to raise drug prices and his abrasive public persona.
According to the legal filings from prosecutors, however, Shkreli was arrested Thursday because of his illegal scheming as a hedge-fund manager.
The U.S. Attorney’s office that filed the charges against Shkreli declined to comment on his remarks over the weekend.
Statement from alleged fraudster Martin Shkreli
“Trying to find anything we could to stop him,’ was the attitude of the government,” Shkreli commented, surrounded by attorneys in a conference room Sunday for the interview with the WSJ. “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.”
More on federal charges
According to the federal indictment, the hedge funds run by Shkreli borrowed large sums from investors, but when the investments actually suffered losses, he paid them back using money with money from Turing Pharmaceuticals where he was the CEO. The feds also claim that Shkreli was not honest with investors about the returns at his two hedge funds.
Shkreli now claims his outrageous behavior was “a bit of an act”
Keep in mind that the SEC has been investigating Shkreli since 2012, but it became a higher priority this September after Shkreli massively jacked up the price of the off-patent drug Daraprim. The SEC complaint against Shkreli alleges multiple securities law violations, in particular, efforts to deceive investors in his hedge funds about investment performance and assets under management.
Of interest, the 32-year-old Shkreli claimed in the interview that behavior has really been “a bit of an act.”
“What do you do when you have the attention of millions of people? It seemed to me like it would be fun to experiment with,” Shkreli said. He continued to argue he was arrested “because of a social experiment and teasing people over the Internet…and that seems like a real injustice.”
Shkreli claims to be surprised by his serious legal problems. “Quite frankly, it was not something I expected, and definitely not something I deserve given the facts.”