Ah, it’s finally here. No, not Star Wars: the Force Awakens. The arrest of Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli. Rarely does real life provide us with such cartoon villainy – from gouging AIDS patients, to hoarding long lost rap albums, to running a shambolic Ponzi scheme, Shkreli’s actions are the stuff of Hollywood dreams. It’s impossible to root for a man so cartoonishly greedy, mean and narcissistic, and the schadenfreude train is going full steam ahead on social media. You’d better believe we’re going to enjoy this one.
Well, it finally happened. We knew it was coming but Martin Shkreli has finally been arrested for securities fraud. This Bloomberg piece is a good overview of the situation and the charges he faces.
Thanks to his price-gouging, dirty business tactics and general arrogance, the Shkreli arrest feels like a victory for the people. The problem is that despite how incredibly bad at his job he is, Shkreli still has an awful lot of money, and most justice systems are stacked in favour of CEOs. Of course, should he get off, it’s only a matter of time before he screws up again, and the inevitable Martin Shkreli film just keeps on getting weirder.
The thing is, Shkreli didn’t just screw over ordinary folks. He defrauded investors and trashed several companies. There are consequences for such actions, and however his legal case shakes out, he’s already facing heavy losses in the market. His net worth? Well, it’s plunging.
The great thing about Martin Shkreli is that it’s not just his actions that are absurd, its his entire persona. On Twitter, Shkreli boasts about how rich and smart he is, tries to lure famous people to his home for private Wu-Tang listening parties, tries to unload stock, and even gets reported to the FCC. His Twitter is a masterclass in making a spectacle of yourself in a way that’s decidedly bad for business.
Can anyone put me in touch with the Tupac estate? I would like to review any available unreleased tracks.
— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) December 12, 2015
And the most important question of all…
A couple of weeks back, Shkreli bought the sole copy of an unreleased album by rap giants, Wu-Tang Clan. Then he taunted the general public about it. When he was arrested, many speculated that the album would be swept up in it, but the FBI didn’t have a seizure warrant, so the album is currently still in Shkreli’s possession. But what comes next? Pray for asset forfeiture if you’re a Wu-Tang fan.
#Breaking no seizure warrant at the arrest of Martin Shkreli today, which means we didn't seize the Wu-Tang Clan album.
— FBI New York (@NewYorkFBI) December 17, 2015