Reviled Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Reportedly Arrested on Federal Securities Fraud Charges

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Pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli, widely pilloried for jacking up the price of a drug used to treat AIDS patients, has been arrested on federal securities fraud charges, according to published reports.

Martin Shkreli, center, CEO of Turing Pharmaceutical, is brought out of 26 Federal Plaza by law enforcement officials after being arrested for securities fraud on Dec. 17, 2015, in New York City. Shkreli gained notoriety earlier this year for raising the price of Daraprim, a medicine used to treat the parasitic condition of toxoplasmosis, from $13.50 to $750, though the arrest does not involve that price hike. (Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Martin Shkreli, center, CEO of Turing Pharmaceutical, is brought out of 26 Federal Plaza by law enforcement officials after being arrested for securities fraud on Dec. 17, 2015, in New York City. Shkreli gained notoriety earlier this year for raising the price of Daraprim, a medicine used to treat the parasitic condition of toxoplasmosis, from $13.50 to $750, though the arrest does not involve that price hike. (Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

The charges reportedly do not relate to Turing Pharmaceuticals, the company that raised the price of the drug Daraprim by more than 5,000%. Instead, they center on his time as CEO of Retrophin, another biotech company that ousted him last year.

Retrophin has since sued him in federal court, seeking $65 million from him, accusing him of misusing the company’s cash and stock. He has denied those charges.

Bloomberg and Reuters reported that Shkreli was arrested Thursday at his home in New York. Reuters said it had “witnessed” the arrest.

An attorney who represented Shkreli in a previous civil lawsuit did not return calls seeking comment, nor did federal prosecutors. A call to Shkreli’s office line went unanswered.

Turing, which Shkreli started after leaving Retrophin, is privately held.

But Shkreli recently bought a majority of the shares and become CEO of another small publicly-trade drug company, KaloBios, which develops cancer drugs.

Shkreli’s takeover of the firm sent shares soaring 400% on the first day after the news, and shares had since more than doubled in value. But they plunged 50% in premarket trading Thursday after reports of his arrest.

On Dec. 9, it was revealed in a Bloomberg Businessweek exclusive that Shkreli had purchased the one-of-a-kind collector’s-item copy of rap group Wu-Tang Clan’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.”

Only one copy of the 31-track album was produced. It was packaged in a hand-carved box with a leather-bound book of parchment paper containing lyrics and backstory, to be sold to the highest bidder.

That buyer was said to be Shkreli, who reportedly purchased the coveted album for $2 million.

After he was taken into custody¬†Thursday, the FBI’s New York field office said on Twitter that no seizure warrant had been served during his arrest, “which means we didn’t seize the Wu-Tang Clan album.”