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December 21, 2015

Drug Executive's Arrest Casts Shadow on Gift to School

Martin Shkreli's arrest last week on fraud charges has rekindled debate at a prestigious Manhattan prep school over whether to keep a $1 million donation the controversial former pharmaceuticals executive made in March, writes The New York Times. Mr. Shkreli, who was accused Thursday of securities fraud in connection with his operation of a hedge fund, attended but did not graduate from Hunter College High School.

The charges, to which Mr. Shkreli pleaded not guilty, are unrelated to his leadership of Turing Pharmaceuticals, where he bought the rights to low-cost medications and drastically increased their prices. He resigned as the firm's CEO on Friday. Turing's practices generated national outrage and initiated calls by some Hunter alumni for the school to return Mr. Shkreli's gift. A spokesman for the school declined to comment on whether it was considering doing so.

Another New York nonprofit, anti-poverty group Community Solutions, said Friday that it will give back $15,000 it received from Mr. Shkreli in January, Reuters reports. The charity noted its work with people who depend on AIDS drugs. Mr. Shkreli first drew public opprobrium in September when Turing raised prices on an AIDS and cancer medication from $13.50 to $750 a tablet.