Martin Shkreli may have a reputation for being brazen and reckless, but a clash with a former employee at Retrophin, the company Shkreli founded in 2011, underscored just how erratic the pharma bad boy could be.
In a 2013 lawsuit, Shkreli asserted that his former portfolio manager Timothy Pierotti “absconded” with 350,000 shares in a company with which Retrophin did a reverse merger. Shkreli claimed these were awarded as an incentive; Pieroitti argued he bought the shares, according to court documents.
What happened next is the sort of scenario that might pop up from the pages of a cheap crime novel, not what you would expect from someone who aspires to build a pharmaceutical empire.
Shkreli then hacked Pierotti’s AOL, Gmail, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, according to court documents and a police report filed in Summit, N.J., where Pierotti lived.
He allegedly “friended” one of Pierotti’s teenage sons and wrote, “I want you to know about your dad … he betrayed me, he stole $3 million from me.”
Shkreli also purportedly wrote a letter to Pierotti’s wife, stating: “Your husband stole $1.6 million from me and I will get it back. I will go to any length necessary to get it back … Having frozen your husband’s stock account once, I will do so repeatedly until I get what is mine … Your pathetic excuse of a husband needs to get a job real job that does not depend on fraud to succeed … I hope to see you and your four children homeless and I will do whatever I can to assure this.”
He also tweeted “hey, sweetie” to Pierotti’s wife, the police report states.
A police officer who contacted Shkreli by phone said Shkreli initially denied knowing Pierotti but, after the officer told him about the Facebook friend requests, Shkreli maintained he had no recent contact with Pierotti. “Mr. Shkreli advised me that he hadn’t talked to Mr. Pierotti in over a year, so how could he be harassing him?” the officer wrote in the Dec. 27, 2013 police report.
We could not reach Pierotti, but did leave a message for his attorney and will update you with any reply.
In the end, the lawsuit was discontinued, according to court documents.