“The most hated man in America.”
Those are the words from men and women being screened to potentially be seated on the jury in Martin Shkreli’s fraud trial. Shkreli, a former pharmaceutical company CEO, is being tried on charges of securities fraud, running a so-called ponzi scheme. He seems to relish the spotlight and relish being an irritant. I think it’s safe to say he likes to push people’s buttons, all the while, wearing a venomous smirk across his face. His lawyer says Martin Shkreli marches to a different drummer. That would make it seem like he’s simply misunderstood.
The 34-year-old is looking down the barrel of an eight-count indictment for allegedly cheating the drug company he founded out of millions of dollars to pay investors in two hedge funds he ran. You might remember he’s the guy who acquired an inexpensive, illness-changing drug used by people with HIV and jacked up the price by 5000 percent. Many people think there is no place in society for someone quite so evil. He says he was doing his fiduciary duty to stockholders.
Can you just hear granddad sitting on the front porch surmising that the boy just needs to be taken down a notch? That’s what they might have done back in the day. But with social media and technology, personalities and minds like Shkreli’s simply become inflamed.
Bottom line, Shkreli doesn’t have the betterment of humankind on his mind. That’s not a crime. And as I mentioned in a previous blog, “It’s not a Crime, It’s a Sin – Shame on Martin Shkreli,” charging $750 for a pill that helps seriously ill people and used to cost just $13.50 isn’t a crime either. If Shkreli is convicted of securities fraud, maybe he’ll have been “taken down a notch,” but not on the most important matter which is doing right by society, contributing to humankind, making the world a better place for all. If you’re as brilliant as people say you are, put that brilliance to work in a positive manner. There’s a reason he’s dubbed “the most hated man in America,” but that just seems to fuel his fire.