CREW Calls for DOJ Investigation Into Short-Seller Shkreli
Washington, D.C. – Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) asked Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, to investigate the short-selling activities of hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli – and possibly others – to determine whether he has illegally manipulated stock prices in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. CREW previously called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate Mr. Shkreli’s interactions with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“Mounting evidence suggests Wall Street investors are inserting themselves into the FDA drug approval process to manipulate stock prices for financial gain,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “Thoroughly researching companies before making investment decisions is smart; intentionally making false claims to a federal agency to drive down stock prices is illegal.”
Martin Shkreli is the chief investment officer for the New York-based hedge fund MSMB Capital Management LLC. CREW based its complaint on publicly available data, documents CREW obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request to the FDA, and information provided by an individual employed by a company affected by Mr. Shkreli’s actions.
Acknowledging a financial interest, but with no medical expertise, Mr. Shkreli has posted blogs on investing website SeekingAlpha.com, spreading unfounded and inaccurate rumors about drugs owned by companies he was shorting. He also inserted himself into the FDA approval process for pending drugs of companies he was shorting. Following such actions, the companies’ stock price dropped and Mr. Shkreli made money.
“Mr. Shkreli seems more interested in lining his own pockets than in fostering groundbreaking medical advances,” continued Ms. Sloan. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office has done an impressive job prosecuting insider trading, sending the clear message to Wall Street that such conduct will not be tolerated. Short-sellers like Mr. Shkreli who manipulate markets and government agencies for private financial gain should be pursued just as vigorously.”