The most hated person on the Internet’s week just got a lot worse. Following his arrest for securities fraud, Martin Shkreli stepped down as Turning Pharmaceuticals CEO, CNNMoney reported on Thursday. Though he boasted a hip-hop-fueled, lavish lifestyle — to the resentment of his many detractors — it’s unclear what the future will hold for the 32-year-old.
“Schadenfreude” is a word are many are using to describe the situation. He’s in legal hot water for allegedly running a “Ponzi-like” scheme while at Retrophin as CEO, but Shkreli became super infamous for raising an AIDS drug from $13.50 to $750 per pill — a whopping 5,000 percent increase — when he was running Turning Pharma. What makes this decision even more questionable to some is that the medication, called Daraprim, not only treats AIDS patients, but infants and other vulnerable people with weakened immune systems, according to TIME.
And if you think he would be slightly remorseful about this act, think again. "Until we figure out demand, we won’t lower the price." Shkreli told Business Insider during an Oct. 13 interview. "We have to find a safe price to lower it to." Subsequently, Turning Pharma announced it planned to drop Daraprim’s price point, but comments like these stuck with many who are now celebrating his misfortune:
There have been hundreds of companies that have raised [their drug prices] higher, and they’re not rolling back their prices, so why should we?
While Shkreli was released from jail Thursday afternoon, he faces securities fraud, securities fraud conspiracy, and wire fraud conspiracy charges for allegedly shifting millions in Retrophin stock and cash by carrying out fraudulent consulting deals. And these charges are nothing to sneeze at, as VICE reports he could be looking at as many as 20 years in prison if convicted.
But what can we expect from in him the meantime? Well, if you’re unaware, Shkreli was a biotech executive by day and an aspiring hip-hop mogul by night, and there’s no indication that he’s giving up on the second endeavor. On Dec. 9, Shkreli paid $2 million a Wu-Tang clan album, the only one in circulation.
And after obtaining what could be the most expensive album ever, the 32-year-old continued to work on his street cred. Mere days before his arrest, Shkreli announced his plans to bail rapper Bobby Shmurda out of jail. But in true Shkreli fashion, he told HipHop DX what he expected in return:
I’m a fan and I’m a business man. Look, the guy’s going to have to record for me if he comes out. I’ll just come out and say it… I’m not going to do this for free.
So yeah, he has tons going for him.
Image: Andrew Burton/Getty; Giphy