Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin “Pharma Bro” Shkreli was arrested earlier today and the Internet still hasn’t stopped celebrating. Shkreli’s reputation as a corporate scumbag is so ridiculous at this point that if you pitched a script of his true life story to Hollywood studios, they’d reject it for being too over the top. Nonetheless, Shkreli’s arrest is chock full of hilarious ironies that would make perfect material for a Wolf of Wall Street-style epic about depravity in Corporate America. Let’s go over them below.
Shkreli didn’t just allegedly lie to investors — he lied in comically ridiculous ways that are going to be very hard to defend in court. Check out this passage from Shkreli’s indictment flagged by Twitter user @TweTro:
This is the kind of lie that you can’t just brush off as a tiny rounding error or a misplaced comma. It goes without saying that there’s a very big difference between $35 million and $700, not to mention the fact that this fund didn’t have an independent auditor as Shkreli allegedly claimed.
The federal government may seize the Wu-Tang Clan’s secret album from Shkreli. This is pretty standard language for such an indictment but it’s amusing nonetheless given Shkreli’s recent $2 million purchase of the Wu-Tang Clan’s secret album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin:
The key clause here is “derived from proceeds traceable to such offenses.” It will be pretty hard to prove that Shkreli bought the new Wu album with ill-gotten money he earned from allegedly defrauding investors. That said, the Wu-Tang Clan and Bill Murray had better act quickly if they’re planning a heist of the album since it will be much harder to swipe it back from the feds than from Shkreli’s crib.
Earlier this week, Shkreli said he would put up bail money for rapper Bobby Shmurda. Yes, that’s right — Shkreli earlier this week revealed that he wanted to pay bail for rapper Bobby Shmurda, who has been in jail for the past year on drugs and weapons charges and who was most recently busted for allegedly smuggling a knife into prison. Now it seems that Shkreli is the one who needs bailing out, although the hated CEO easily has money to still pay his own bail and pay Shmurda’s as well.
As for what Shkreli wants from Shmurda, he told Hip Hop DX that Shmurda would have to owe him a favor such as recording a track for him.
“Look, the guy’s going to have to record for me if he comes out,” Shkreli said. “I’ll just come out and say it… I’m not going to do this for free.”
Shkreli wants to record his own rap album to hit back at all his haters. Also from the Hip Hop DX interview:
To me, what I’m doing right now in the media, raising prices, all this s—, believe what you want, but it’s interesting. It gets people talking. At the end of the day, that’s what art is. I don’t know if I can translate the s— into rap or not, but I’ll try. I’ll try in my own studios and with my own friends helping me out. If it comes out okay, I’ll put the s— out. I’ve written lots of good songs before. I can definitely do it. Business is better for me just because music is a hard life, as you know. But if I can do it, I’ll do it. The budget for the album can be f—ing $5 million. I’ll pay f—ing Drake. I’ll pay f—ing Lil Wayne. I’ll pay Timbaland to make a beat. I don’t care. I just don’t wanna put out low-quality stuff.
And hey, the guy already has the perfect cover for his debut album:
THAT IS WHAT PHARMA THUG LIFE LOOKS LIKE.
Incidentally, it’s too bad that Kevin Federline already used the song title “America’s Most Hated” in his notoriously awful debut album all those years ago, because Shkreli has a much better claim to that particularly crown than anyone else right now.
There’s a mix of greed, arrogance and delusion in Shkreli that I don’t think I’ve ever seen in any other corporate villain in my lifetime. Parody of corporate American excess is now all but impossible because Shkreli is more ridiculous than any piece of fiction any screenwriter could concoct.