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Martin Shkreli Resigns as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, Interim Boss Announced

As head of Turing, Shkreli became vilified when he announced in September that he was ratcheting up the cost of a life-saving drug by 5,000 percent.
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Martin Shkreli, the disgraced CEO of drugmaker Turing Pharmaceuticals, resigned Friday from the company he founded following his arrest on unrelated securities fraud charges.

Ron Tilles, the chairman of the board of the privately held company, will serve as interim chief executive until a formal replacement is named, according to a Turing news release.

Related: FBI Arrests Pharma CEO Martin Shkreli on Securities Fraud Charges

"We wish to thank Martin for helping us build Turing Pharmaceuticals into the dynamic research focused company it is today, and wish him the best in his future endeavors," Tilles said in statement. "At the same time, I am very excited about the opportunity to guide Turing Pharmaceuticals forward."

Image: Martin  Shkreli charged with defrauding investors
Martin Shkreli, chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, leaves a United States Federal courthouse following an arraignment on charges of securities fraud in Brooklyn, New York, on Dec. 17, 2015.ANDREW GOMBERT / EPA

Shkreli's stunning arrest on Thursday stemmed from previous hedge fund and biopharmaceutical companies he owned and later left. He founded Turin in February, and also became the CEO of KaloBios Pharmaceuticals in November.

Federal prosecutors allege Shkreli orchestrated three interrelated fraud schemes from September 2009 through September 2014, using investors' money from one company he opened to illegally pay off debts owed to a previous business he started.

Related: Arrested Pharma Boss Martin Shkreli Wanted to Pay Bobby Shmurda's Bail

Prosecutors said Thursday the 32-year-old entrepreneur ran his ventures "like a Ponzi scheme." Also charged in the alleged scheme is Evan Greebel, who served as an attorney for one of Shkreli's past companies.

Shkreli, who lives in midtown Manhattan, was released on a $5 million bond after pleading not guilty to the securities fraud charges.

He tweeted Thursday night that he was "glad to be home." He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

As head of Turing, Shkreli became vilified worldwide when he announced in September that he was ratcheting up the cost of life-saving pill Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per tablet. The drug is used to help people with compromised immune systems, including HIV patients.

The company later said it was reversing the decision after headlines declared Shkreli the "most hated man in America."

His public persona reached another level when it was reported this month that he bought the sole copy of the new Wu-Tang Clan album for a whopping $2 million. Rankling some people further, he said he didn't plan on listening to it anytime soon.

Addressing the public's curiosity about the high-profile purchase, the FBI in New York tweeted Thursday that it had not seized the collectible.