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Martin Shkreli Net Worth: Unraveling the Controversial Entrepreneur's Fortune

Martin Shkreli, often referred to as "Pharma Bro," gained notoriety for his controversial practices and polarizing persona in the pharmaceutical industry. As the co-founder and former CEO of several companies, including Retrophin and Turing Pharmaceuticals, Shkreli's net worth has been a topic of interest and debate over the years. His financial standing has fluctuated due to various factors, including legal troubles, which ultimately led to a prison sentence.

Despite his tumultuous journey, Shkreli's net worth still managed to reach significant heights. At one point, his financial status peaked at around $70 million. However, it's worth noting that some sources claim that his current net worth has dropped to as low as $0 due to the consequences of his actions and various legal battles. With such discrepancies in estimates, the question about Martin Shkreli's true net worth remains up for debate.

Early Life

Martin Shkreli was born in Coney Island Hospital in the New York City borough of Brooklyn on March 17, 1983, to Albanian immigrant parents. Growing up in a working-class family, he had a modest upbringing in New York. As a young student, he displayed exceptional intelligence and aptitude for learning.

Shkreli began his academic journey at Hunter College High School, an elite public school known for preparing students for top-tier universities. However, he faced challenges during his time there, and ultimately transferred to City-As-School High School, an institution designed for students who struggled in traditional educational settings. Despite these setbacks, Shkreli's educational career continued to flourish.

After completing high school, Martin Shkreli attended Baruch College in New York, where he pursued a degree in business and finance. He demonstrated an early interest in the world of investing, which would become the foundation of his future career. As a college student, Shkreli started to build his reputation within the finance industry, securing internships and working closely with prominent figures in the sector. This experience would later serve as the bedrock for his entrepreneurial ventures in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.

Career Path

Shkreli began his career as a hedge fund manager, co-founding Elea Capital, MSMB Capital Management, and MSMB Healthcare. These ventures focused on the biotech industry, and Shkreli quickly gained a reputation for his deep knowledge and confident approach in this sector.

Over time, Shkreli shifted his focus to pharmaceutical companies. He co-founded and served as CEO for both Retrophin and Turing Pharmaceuticals. Despite the controversies surrounding his tenure, it is worth noting that Shkreli's involvement in these companies contributed significantly to their growth and success.

In addition to his work in hedge funds and pharmaceuticals, Shkreli briefly dabbled in the world of software. In August 2016, he started Gödel Systems, a software start-up that aimed to change the way data is managed and automated in the pharmaceutical industry.

However, Shkreli's career hasn't been free from scandal or setbacks. One such incident involved his E*TRADE account. The account contained over $45 million worth of securities, and they ended up being frozen by regulatory authorities due to his legal issues.

Pharmaceutical Ventures

One of the most infamous ventures was at Turing Pharmaceuticals. Shkreli gained notoriety when he raised the price of the lifesaving drug Daraprim by 5,455%, from $13.50 to $750 per pill. This decision garnered significant backlash from the public and the pharmaceutical industry. The controversy eventually led to legal troubles for Shkreli.

Before Turing Pharmaceuticals, Shkreli founded Retrophin, a biotechnology company focused on developing treatments for rare diseases. The company has been actively involved in research and development of new drugs for these underserved populations. 

Another venture by Shkreli involved a failed merger with AMAG Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company. As an activist hedge fund manager specializing in healthcare stocks Shkreli torpedoed the proposed merger.

Despite his controversial actions, Martin Shkreli's pharmaceutical ventures have contributed to the conversation around drug pricing and the overall landscape of the pharmaceutical industry. At the same time, his actions have significantly impacted his own wealth, with a court order to return $64 million and barriers imposed on his future involvement in the industry.

Shkreli gained notoriety for his role in raising the price of Daraprim, a life-saving medication, by over 5,000%. This act of price gouging generated significant public outrage and scrutiny, propelling Shkreli into the limelight.

His legal troubles, however, extended far beyond the realm of pharmaceuticals. Shkreli was convicted in a New York federal court in 2017 for securities fraud and conspiracy to commit securities fraud. The charges stemmed from his management of two hedge funds and a biotechnology company. Shkreli engaged in stock-trading irregularities, which eventually led to his conviction as a convicted felon.

Following his conviction, Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in prison and ordered to forfeit over $7 million in assets, including a rare Wu-Tang Clan album. In January 2022, a New York judge ruled that Shkreli repay $64.6 million and will be barred for life from the drug industry.This decision was a direct result of his price-gouging tactics and profits made at the expense of vulnerable patients. The US government continues to crack down on similar practices in an effort to protect consumers from unscrupulous business practices.

High-Profile Assets

One of the most notable assets in Shkreli's possession was the exclusive Wu-Tang Clan album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. This one-of-a-kind album was purchased by Shkreli at an auction for a reported $2 million. However, following his conviction, he was ordered to forfeit the album along with other valuable belongings.

In addition to the rare album, Shkreli also owned a Pablo Picasso painting, which was another valuable investment. This piece of artwork also became part of the asset forfeiture ordered by the judge in his criminal trial, contributing to the decline in his net worth.

While these high-profile assets no longer belong to Martin Shkreli, they served as examples of the wealth he once possessed. 

Court Trial and Conviction

The trial focused on Shkreli's time working in the world of finance, specifically during his tenure at his own Wall Street hedge fund. He was accused of running a Ponzi-like scheme, using assets from one company to pay off debts in another. Throughout the case, the prosecution presented evidence to demonstrate Shkreli's fraudulent activities, while his defense claimed that his investors eventually made profits and that no harm was done.

In 2018  Shkreli was sentenced to seven years in prison for securities fraud. His conviction was related to the mismanagement of funds at two hedge funds he managed and the biotechnology company he founded, not for his notorious price hike on the life-saving drug Daraprim.

While serving his sentence, Shkreli spent time at the Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Dix, New Jersey. 

Release from Prison 

In 2022, Martin Shkreli was released early from prison after serving a majority of his sentence. Upon his release, Shkreli transitioned to a halfway house, an intermediate step between incarceration and reintegration into society. Generally, halfway houses provide a structured environment to support an individual's return to the community by offering job assistance, counseling, and more.

In some cases, individuals can serve the remainder of their sentences in community confinement, allowing them more freedom and opportunities to reintegrate into society while still following specific guidelines and reporting to authorities. The decision to release Shkreli early from prison was based on his behavior and contributions during his time in the facility, as reported by the Associated Press.

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Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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