Group Seeks Criminal Probe Of Hedge Fund Manager

Jul 17 2012 | 11:15am ET

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is best-known for its attacks on members of Congress and political candidates it deems "corrupt" or "crooked." But the self-proclaimed "non-profit legal watchdog" has turned its attention to hedge funds.

CREW has asked Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan who already boasts several hedge fund scalps, to probe hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli, who it alleges may be manipulating stock prices. And the group warns that it may not stop with Shkreli, who runs MSMB Capital Management.

According to CREW, Shkreli, who invests in biotechnology and pharmaceutical shares but is not a doctor, has "inserted himself" into Food and Drug Administration approval processes for drugs proposed by companies he was shorting. He has also allegedly spread "unfounded and inaccurate rumors about drugs owned by companies he was shorting."

"Mr. Shkreli seems more interested in lining his own pockets than in fostering groundbreaking medical advances," Melanie Sloan, CREW's executive director, said. "The U.S. Attorney's Office has done an impressive job prosecuting insider trading, sending the clear message to Wall Street that such conduct will not be tolerated. Short-sellers like Mr. Shkreli who manipulate markets and government agencies for private financial gain should be pursued just as vigorously."

CREW has previously pushed the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate Shkreli's relationship with the FDA.

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