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Pharma bad boy Martin Shkreli is griping that federal authorities charged him with securities fraud crimes because he teased people over the Internet, as well as because of his controversial price hike of a drug that helps HIV patients, a new report reveals.
Shkreli, 32, also complained to The Wall Street Journal that the indictment "doesn't tell my side of the story at all."
Shkreli told the Journal on Sunday that "'trying to find anything we could to stop him' was the attitude of the government" that arrested him Thursday.
He gained widespread notoriety in late summer after his company Turing Pharmaceuticals jacked up the price of its drug Daraprim from $13.50 per pill to $750, and then made himself more notorious by insulting his many critics via Twitter, and reveling in their scorn.
Shkreli told the Journal his antics on the Internet, which included live-streaming video of him playing chess and the guitar, was "a bit of an act."
"What do you do when you have the attention of millions of people? It seemed to me like it would be fun to experiment with," said Shkreli, who is free on $5 million bail.
He said his arrest was "because of a social experiment and teasing people over the Internet."
"Quite frankly, it was not something I expected, and definitely not something I deserve given the facts," he said.
Shkreli has had more trouble with the Internet, and several other sources, on the heels of his arrest Thursday on charges that he used funds and stock allegedly looted from the pharmaceutical firm Retrophin to pay off investors he was suspected of defrauding at hedge funds he previously ran.
Hackers on Sunday changed the name of his Twitter account to "Martin The God." They then sent out a series of tweets, including one that said: "Anyone want free money? Willing to donate hundreds of thousands to charities before I go to prison," and asking people to re-tweet a message for a chance to win the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album that he notoriously paid $2 million for.
Shkreli told the Journal his email and cellphone accounts also were hacked.
On Friday, Turing, which he founded after being ousted by Retrophin, replaced him as CEO.
On Monday morning, the drug firm KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, which Shkreli recently purchased a majority stake in, said that he had been fired as CEO on Thursday, the day of his arrest, and that he also had resigned from its board.
The University of California at Davis and Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida on Saturday said they were suspending a clinical trial, sponsored by KaloBios, of the leukemia drug KB003 due to Shkreli's criminal case.
Read The Wall Street Journal report here.