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CEO Shkreli claims embezzlement allegations are 'baseless'

The former executive of multiple pharmaceutical companies says he 'will prevail' after being arrested on fraud charges. Martin Shkreli is accused of looting a company he was running to pay off investors in a hedge fund.

Former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli said on Saturday that allegations of fraud and embezzlement against him were "baseless and without merit."

"I am confident I will prevail," Shkreli said on Twitter.

Shkreli was arrested on Thursday on securities fraud and conspiracy charges, although he was released on bail after posting $5 million (4.6 million euros).

Federal prosecutors in New York allege that Shkreli - also a former hedge fund manager - lost funds and consequently looted $11 million from a pharmaceutical company he led in order to pay back disgruntled clients.

"As alleged, Martin Shkreli engaged in multiple schemes to ensnare investors through a web of lies and deceit. His plots were only by efforts to conceal the fraud, which led him to operate his companies … as a Ponzi scheme," said a statement from the US Justice Department.

The Justice Department added that Shreli's illicit activities occurred between 2009 and 2014.

The 32-year-old former executive drew criticism when he bought exclusive rights to a life-saving drug, and bumped the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill. Among those affected by the price hike were people infected with HIV-AIDS.

Shkreli resigned from his position as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals on Friday.

ls/jm (AP, AFP, dpa)