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Drug Price Gouging ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli Arrested By FBI For Securities Fraud

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The man who raised the price of a life-saving AIDS and cancer drug 5500% was just arrested for something entirely unrelated to his drug price gouging.

Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli was arrested by the FBI early Thursday morning on securities fraud charges. The 32-year old fast-playing former hedge fund manager wunderkind turned drug company chief earned him the nickname “pharma-bro.”  Shkreli became known nationwide after purchasing the rights to a little-known and old but life-saving drug, and increasing the price from $13.50 a pill to $750 a pill, a 5500% increase. That drug, Daraprim, Shkreli admitted, costs about $1 to make.

Shkreli has been the target of a federal investigation since at least January. The case involves a company he founded, Retrophin, from which he was later fired.

UPDATE: Bigger Than Trump: 9 Things About Martin Shkreli That Happened Today After He Was Arrested

“Prosecutors charged him with illegally taking stock from Retrophin Inc., a biotechnology firm he started in 2011, and using it pay off debts from unrelated business dealings. He was later ousted from the company, where he’d been chief executive officer, and sued by its board,” Bloomberg Business reports.

UPDATE: Martin Shkreli Ran Companies ‘Like A Ponzi Scheme’ Prosecutor Charges (Video)

Federal prosecutors “accused Shkreli of engaging in a complicated shell game after his defunct hedge fund, MSMB Capital Management, lost millions. He is alleged to have made secret payoffs and set up sham consulting arrangements.”

Shkreli, who initially had refused to lower the price of Daraprim several months ago, ultimately conceded after national disgust forced him to give in. He promised to lower the cost within a month, but would not say by how much. He later reneged on that public promise. 

UPDATE: Martin Shkreli Loses $26 Million After Being Arrested

More recently, Shkreli made headlines for being the sole purchaser of the only copy of a new Wu-Tang Clan album. The price? Two million dollars.

And this week news broke that Shkreli was repeating his scheme of price gouging with another life-saving drug, Benznidazole, which is used by 300,000 patients to battle the deadly parasitic infection known as Chagas disease. The World Health Organization put Benznidazole on its list of essential medicines.

 

 

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CRIME

Who Is the Highland Park July 4th Mass Shooting Person of Interest? ‘Obsession With Mass Death and Nihilism’

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The person police are describing as a “person of interest” in the Highland Park, Illinois Independence Day mass shooting that left six parade watchers dead and 38 injured has been apprehended.

Robert “Bobby” Crimo goes by the name of “Awake the Rapper” on social media. According to The Daily Beast, he is “an amateur rapper who posted disturbing videos on his YouTube channel, including a crude animation depicting a heavily armed shooter being killed by police.”

Crimo, a 22-year-old white man, “is a video-game enthusiast and professional wrestling fan. One photo posted to Twitter showed him wearing a Trump flag like a cape; in another he sported an FBI cap. But the same account also liked a video of President Biden.”

USA Today reports Crimo has been arrested in connection with the mass shooting. There are no reports he has been charged, and it’s too early to determine his political beliefs, if any. NCRM has not verified any of the photos in this report.

An FBI wanted poster published by Fox News says Crimo “has the following tattoos: four tally marks with a line through them on his right cheek, red roses and green leaves on his neck, and cursive script above his left eyebrow.”

NBC News senior reporter Ben Collins, who describes his work as covering the “dystopia beat,” writes: “The most important thing to know about Crimo’s online identity is his obsession with mass death and nihilism.”

In an NBC News article, Collins adds Crimo “left a long trail of tributes to mass shootings and public killings on social media platforms, according to numerous profiles that appear to belong to him.”

“Crimo didn’t frequently post about major political figures on his websites, except for two posts about former President Donald Trump,” Collins adds.

A video posted to Crimo’s YouTube page on Jan. 2, 2021, appears to show Crimo among a throng of protesters cheering for Trump’s presidential motorcade outside an airport. Crimo flips the phone’s orientation to reveal his face at the end of the video.

Crimo is also seen draped in a Trump flag in a June 27, 2021, post on Twitter. The post is captioned with only the word “spam.”

Sawyer Hackett, a senior advisor to former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, posted these images that have been flooding social media, allegedly of Crimo.

Investigative journalist Steven Monacelli, who writes about extremism, warns about jumping to conclusions, but adds these photos he says are of Crimo and says he “does appear to have been active in some right wing political events.”

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

GOP Nominee for Illinois Governor Offers Prayers Then Quickly Dismisses July 4 Mass Shooting: ‘Let’s Move On’

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Darren Bailey, the GOP nominee to become governor of Illinois, quickly dismissed the Independence Day mass shooting in Highland Park that left six people dead and dozens hospitalized.

In a poor-quality Facebook live video Bailey, a far-right Illinois state lawmaker stands with a group of supporters holding campaign signs and says, “20 minutes away from here in Highland Park there was a shooting, there were several people that we know have been shot, that’s all we know, and we’re just going to take a moment and pray for the families [inaudible] pray for the law enforcement and even the organizers of this parade.”

He says canceling the parade after the shooting started was ‘the right thing because people’s safety has got to come first.” He offers no mention of guns or gun control or gun safety measures.

“The shooter is still at large so let’s pray for justice to prevail, and then let’s move on and let’s celebrate the independence of this nation. We know the mission. We have got to get corruption and evil out of our government.”

On Facebook Bailey writes:

Please pray for the families affected by the shooting in Highland Park!
Skokie Parade has been canceled.
Demand law and order!
Invest in mental health!!
Pray for Law Enforcement!!!
Let Freedom Ring!!!

Watch video below or at this link:

 

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BREAKING NEWS

President Biden: ‘Jill and I Are Shocked by the Senseless Gun Violence’ at Highland Park July 4th Mass Shooting

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President Joe Biden quickly issued a statement expressing his “shock” over the mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois that has left six people dead and over 30 people hospitalized.

“Jill and I are shocked by the senseless gun violence that has yet again brought grief to an American community on this Independence Day,” the President says in his statement. “As always, we are grateful for the first responders and law enforcement on the scene. I have spoken to Governor Pritzker and Mayor Rotering, and have offered the full support of the Federal government to their communities.”

“I also surged Federal law enforcement to assist in the urgent search for the shooter, who remains at large at this time. Members of the community should follow guidance from leadership on the ground, and I will monitor closely as we learn more about those whose lives have been lost and pray for those who are in the hospital with grievous injuries.”

President Biden notes that he “recently signed the first major bipartisan gun reform legislation in almost thirty years into law, which includes actions that will save lives. But there is much more work to do, and I’m not going to give up fighting the epidemic of gun violence.”

The President and the First Lady are expected to speak around 5 PM Monday to deliver Independence Day remarks during their barbecue at the White House with veterans.

News reports state the shooter, who has not been apprehended, is believed to be a white man, 18-20 years old, armed with a high-powered rifle.

RELATED: Biden Blasts ‘Outrageous’ US Supreme Court – Calls to Change Filibuster to Codify Roe and Privacy Into Law

Many on social media are criticizing the NRA, which posted a tweet tying guns to Independence Day barely hours before the mass shooting began. It reads: “The only reason you’re celebrating Independence Day is because citizens were armed.”

There were many police officers at the Highland Park parade, yet the shooter was able to inflict great loss of life, a massive number of wounded victims, and massive terror. Nearby towns canceled their Fourth of July celebrations in response.

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