Martin Shkreli has a had a very interesting public relations ride over the course of the past six months. The 32-year-old came into the mainstream's consciousness as a result of the publicity his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, was receiving after they hiked the price of a cancer drug from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill overnight. The company claimed that the price increase was necessary to conduct research and development of the drug, but many lambasted the company's CEO for essentially forcing those who needed the drug to go into debt in order to pay for treatment. Only a few months after the media frenzy that surrounded his company, Shkreli made another move that kept him in the news; he bought the $2 million, one of a kind Wu Tang Clan album, Once Upon A Time In Shaolin. This power move brought him even more publicity, and questions arose about how much money the Brooklyn native actually had. In mid-December, he even spoke about plans to put up the money for fellow Brooklynite Bobby Shmurda's bail, raising even more question's about Shkreli's net worth.
Only a few days after he made the comments about bailing out Shmurda, Shkreli was arrested on securities fraud charges. The 32-year-old was accused of repeatedly losing money for investors, lying to them about losing their money, and illegally taking assets from one of his companies in order to pay off debtors in another company. In essence, Shkreli is accused of running his company like a Ponzi scheme. Unlike Bobby Shmurda though, after his arrest, Shkreli didn't stay in jail, opting to put up the $5 million bond to free himself. Court papers required Shkreli to disclose how exactly he secured the bond. The court papers give us a little insight into how much the polarizing figure is actually worth.
In court papers filed last week, Shkreli revealed that he has $45 million in an E*Trade account, which he used to secure the $5 million bond. Under the terms of the security arrangement, the 32-year-old is not allowed to sell or transfer any of the assets that he has in the account. Prosecutors told E*Trade to notify them if the value of the account fell below $5 million, because that would put the bond in jeopardy.
The amount of money Shkreli has in his E*Trade account gives us a glimpse into how much he may actually be worth, and how he ended up buying that Wu Tang album. Despite his personal wealth, the companies he's led haven't been doing so great. He resigned from Turing Pharmaceuticals shortly after his arrest, and laid off its employees soon after. In addition, another company he controlled for a brief time, KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, filed for bankruptcy last month.