Bad-boy pharma CEO calls fraud charges ‘baseless’

Martin Shkreli is charged with securities fraud and conspiracy

FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2015 file photo, Martin Shkreli, the former hedge fund manager under fire for buying a pharmaceutical company and ratcheting up the price of a life-saving drug, is escorted by law enforcement agents in New York after being taken into custody following a securities probe. Shkreli has resigned as the head of one of the companies he now runs, Turing Pharmaceuticals, on Friday, Dec. 18, 2015.(AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

NEW YORK (AP) — Bad-boy pharmaceutical company executive Martin Shkreli says fraud allegations against him are “baseless and without merit.”

Shkreli tweeted Saturday: “I am confident I will prevail.”

The 32-year-old former hedge fund manager pleaded not guilty Thursday in Brooklyn federal court and was released on $5 million bail.

Shkreli was charged with securities fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors say from 2009 to 2014, Shkreli lost some of his hedge fund investors’ money through bad trades, then looted a pharmaceutical company where he was CEO for $11 million to pay back his disgruntled clients.

Shkreli was already widely reviled because a drug company he founded raised the price of a life-saving drug from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

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