Saturday, April 21, 2018
Business

Shkreli, drug firm chief, arrested on charges of securities fraud

Pharmaceutical entrepreneur Martin Shkreli, who has come under fire on allegations of drug price gouging, was arrested Thursday by federal authorities.

The investigation, in which Shkreli, 32, has been charged with securities fraud, is related to his time as a hedge fund manager and running the biopharmaceutical company Retrophin — not the current price-gouging controversy at Turing.

At a news conference Thursday held by federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission, officials painted Shkreli's business dealings as "a securities fraud trifecta of lies, deceit and greed." He committed "fraud in nearly every aspect of hedge fund investments and in connection with his stewardship of a public company," said Andrew Ceresney, SEC enforcement director.

At his arraignment Thursday afternoon, Shkreli pleaded not guilty. He was released on $5 million in bail.

Allegations in the indictment and SEC suit predate the public outrage and legislative scrutiny over Shkreli's decision at Turing to acquire a decades-old drug and raise the price of it overnight from $13.50 to $750 a pill.

In a recent interview with the New York Times, he acknowledged the regulatory and criminal investigations into claims of wrongdoing at hedge funds he once controlled as well as at Retrophin, but was dismissive of the inquiries' importance.

The SEC's lawsuit detailed a time line for the allegations: Shkreli told investors in his hedge fund that he had a prominent industry auditing firm, which he did not. In a 2010 email, he told investors his MSMB Capital Management fund had returned 37.77 percent since its founding, when in fact it had sustained losses of 18 percent. He also told investors the firm had assets of $35 million when, in fact, it had less than $1,000 in the bank and its brokerage accounts.

Retrophin said in a statement Thursday that its board had replaced Shkreli last year "because of serious concerns about his conduct" and had cooperated fully with government investigations into Shkreli's activities.

Comments
Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

Some people are paying for cuddles. And it’s not what you might think.

When Samantha Hess’s marriage ended five years ago, she felt she was lacking a basic human need: Physical touch. As a woman in her late 20s living in Portland, Oregon, she found plenty of men interested in dating, but sexual contact was not what she ...
Published: 04/21/18
Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Tampa Bay foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa has violated numerous rules of professional conduct and caused two clients to nearly lose their homes because he failed to tell them about settlement offers from their banks. Those were among the prelim...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Goodwill to open second store in greater Brandon

Times staffThe greater Brandon area will celebrate the grand opening of its second Goodwill store beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday (April 28) at 1407 U.S. 301. The new store will add another 12,000 square feet to the complex, which includes a 200,000-...
Published: 04/20/18
Updated: 04/21/18
Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

Regulators allow major solar company to lease home equipment

State regulators Friday determined that one of the country’s largest residential solar companies, San Francisco-based Sunrun, is allowed to lease solar energy equipment for homes in Florida. The decision, solar energy advocates say, could open the do...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

For the sixth month running, Florida’s unemployment rate held at a nearly 11-year low of 3.9 percent in March as steady job gains continued. While many factors kept Florida’s economy chugging along, three industries stand out for leading year-over-ye...
Published: 04/20/18
Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

Owners say new house is a disaster; developer accuses them of ‘online terrorism’

ST. PETERSBURG --- Stretched across the front of Tim and Hyun Kims’ two-year-old house is a big banner with the name of a developer and the words: "I have to fix my new house."Some of what needs fixing is instantly apparent. The front steps are too ...
Published: 04/20/18
Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida hits a milestone: More than 100,000 people are registered to use medical marijuana here

Florida has hit a milestone of sorts as it slowly moves toward wider availability of medical marijuana.The number of patients in the state who are registered to use the substance has surpassed 100,000 for the first time, according to Florida Departme...
Published: 04/20/18
Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

The Tampa Bay Times recently sat down with Walmart director of corporate communications Phillip Keene to chat about the retail giant’s latest retail strategies and how the company is winning over customers in a competitive market.Already, two of the ...
Published: 04/20/18
SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

Associated PressNEW YORK — SunTrust Banks Inc. says accounts for 1.5 million clients could be compromised following a potential data breach. The Atlanta bank says that it became aware of the potential theft by a former employee and that the investiga...
Published: 04/20/18
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18