From Rising as Pharma Bro to Ending up Broke and in Jail: Martin Shkreli's Descent and Net Worth
|DOB||17 March 1983|
What is Martin Shkreli's net worth?
Notorious for his move to jack up prices of cancer drug Daraprim from $13 to $750 overnight, Martin Shkreli, aka "Pharma Bro," is a former hedge fund manager, entrepreneur, and convicted felon who is left with a zero net worth. He has ended up in this financial situation due to legal penalties and asset forfeitures following his conviction. Despite the financial success he once enjoyed, his journey has been marked by a series of legal troubles. He also had a run-in with Hillary Clinton, and was jailed after a Facebook post offering $5000 for a strand of her hair led to his bail being revoked.
What were Martin Shkreli's sources of income?
Shkreli earned his fortune mostly from a hedge fund, but his financial journey has been marked by controversy and legal challenges. Shkreli initially ventured into the finance industry, gaining experience through internships, and eventually established his hedge funds. One of his notable roles was as an intern at Cramer, Berkowitz, and Company, where he made a recommendation to short-sell the stock of a biotech company called Regeneron that was testing a weight-loss drug. While Cramer profited from Shkreli's prediction, it raised questions from the SEC about how he had obtained this insight. The SEC, however, could not find any evidence of insider trading.
After gaining experience at Cramer Berkowitz, Shkreli worked as a financial analyst at two large investment banks. In 2006, he took a significant step by establishing his own hedge fund, Elea Capital Management. Nevertheless, his financial journey encountered turbulence as Elea was sued by Lehman Brothers in 2007. The lawsuit alleged that Shkreli's bet had gone awry, and when the stock he had shorted increased in value, he was unable to repay Lehman Brothers. The bank won a $2.3 million judgment against Shkreli. However, the collapse of Lehman Brothers prevented the bank from collecting the compensation.
Undeterred by these setbacks, Shkreli launched MSMB Capital Management in 2009. His strategy with MSMB involved shorting biotech companies and then actively participating in online stock trading chat rooms to discuss the perceived flaws in these companies. Despite some early success, Shkreli eventually made a costly mistake when he shorted 32 million shares of a biotech company, only to see the stock price recover, leaving him unable to cover the position. This trade, executed through Merrill Lynch, resulted in a $7 million loss for the bank and effectively wiped out MSMB Capital.
Martin Shkreli's life has been significantly impacted by a series of legal issues, culminating in his imprisonment and ongoing lawsuits. In December 2015, the FBI arrested Shkreli after a federal indictment was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He was charged with securities fraud, and accused of running a scheme resembling a Ponzi scheme during his time at MSMB Capital Management and Retrophin. Shkreli's infamous price hikes of the drug Daraprim also brought him under scrutiny. At his 2017 trial, he audaciously argued that none of his investors had suffered financial losses, contending that some had actually turned a profit, and therefore his actions did not constitute a crime.
On March 9, 2018, Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in federal prison, marking a significant turning point in his legal troubles. He appealed the conviction, but in 2019, an appeals court unanimously upheld the jury verdict. Consequently, the original judgment stood, and Shkreli was sentenced to serve his 7-year prison term and forfeit more than $7.3 million in assets, a substantial penalty for his financial and legal transgressions.
In December 2016, Martin Shkreli faced additional legal troubles when the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance served him with a tax warrant for unpaid taxes totaling $1.26 million.
Real estate and assets
Shkreli's assets have undergone significant changes due to legal actions and penalties. Notably, a judge ordered him to forfeit $5 million from his ETrade account and $2.36 million worth of other assets, including a Pablo Picasso painting and an unreleased Wu-Tang Clan album. These assets were reportedly his remaining holdings after accounting for legal defense fees.
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Social media following
Shkreli's personal life has been marked by a series of attention-grabbing actions that have fueled both fascination and controversy. He notably acquired the sole copy of the Wu-Tang Clan's album "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" for a whopping $2 million. This unique purchase drew significant media attention, but his announcement on Twitter that he would release the album for free if Donald Trump won the 2016 U.S. presidential election or destroy it if Hillary Clinton won added an extra layer of intrigue. Following Trump's victory, Shkreli fulfilled his promise by sharing portions of the album online, ensuring the saga of the Wu-Tang Clan's exclusive music continued to captivate the public.
In addition to his notable purchases, Shkreli made headlines with philanthropic gestures, including a substantial $1 million donation to Hunter College High School in 2015, marking the school's largest-ever contribution. Yet, despite charity, Shkreli's reputation as the "Pharma Bro" and the "Most Hated Man in America" persisted. His involvement in high-profile events, such as speaking engagements at institutions like Harvard University and his appearance at President Trump's inauguration, underscored his ability to remain in the public eye even amid legal troubles. Despite his notoriety, Shkreli's attempt to secure release from prison to work on a COVID-19 vaccine was met with skepticism and ultimately denied by the court.
What were the legal issues that Martin Shkreli faced?
Martin Shkreli faced legal issues related to securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
Did Martin Shkreli have any philanthropic endeavors?
Martin Shkreli made a notable donation of $1 million to Hunter College High School.
What happened to the Wu-Tang Clan album he purchased?
Martin Shkreli's purchase of the Wu-Tang Clan album "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" led to significant media attention. He later listed the album on eBay, and it was sold for over $1 million.
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