Martin Shkreli has tangled with many dangerous people over the years; Wu Tang Clan, Jim Cramer, the SEC, etc., but we are just today learning that he once drew the ire of a true Original Gangster and we find ourselves shocked that Shkrels is so lucky as to merely be serving time in a federal prison.
The Take 'Em To School charity poker tournament that's taking place this evening reminds me of a story I've never shared publicly. Martin Shkreli – yes, the now-infamous scumbag who's serving a seven-year prison sentence for fraud – bought a $10,000 table for the event in July 2012. He had a great time with nine of his friends... but then stiffed us when we sent him the bill, ignoring all of our collection attempts.
Wow. Martin has nine friends?
But also, "Scumbag"? DAMN! Not many men have messed with Whitney Tilson and survived. This man came up in animal factories like The Northfield Mt Herman School, and Harvard. He is not someone with whom one should trifle, son...
When I first learned about this five months later, I was pissed. I'd never heard of Shkreli – he wasn't infamous yet – but I checked him out and he already had a bad reputation, so on December 19 I sent him the most threatening e-mail I've ever sent anyone:
Yo, the MOST threatening email. We're almost afraid to read this thing lest we end up implicated in something truly violent and nasty. But let's anyway:
I think it's really bad form to buy a table at a charity event, show up with 9 friends, and then stiff the charity of the $10,000 you pledged. What kind of guy does that? I've checked you out and apparently you're that kind of guy.
I co-founded the charity and co-chaired the event, so I take this personally – and I intend to let the thousands of people (including lots of investors and reporters) on my e-mail list know about this tomorrow morning – see the e-mail below.
Google me and you'll see that I'm not bluffing. I've written for Forbes numerous times and I'm sure they'd be interested in a follow-up story with the headline: "30 Under 30 Winner Martin Shkreli Stiffs Charity". The media LOVES stories like this – and I'll put my reputation up against yours all day long.
Unless you pay what you owe by 9am tomorrow, I'm hitting the send button.
I hope this is all just a big misunderstanding.
We don't know which part of this is most threatening. Phrases like "really bad form," "I'm not bluffing," "Unless you pay what you owe" are all truly bone-chilling, but it takes a real gangsta to throw down a warning like "I've written for Forbes numerous times."
And, jfc, Big Whit literally warns Shkreli that he's going to push a button on him..
While we can only notionally imagine the icy fear that gripped Shkreli's spine upon reading this obvious death threat, we know from Tilson that the message was delivered:
I then went to the gym and, while I was working out, got a panicked voicemail from him, swearing he'd never gotten the bill. We received a certified check that afternoon. Needless to say, I wasn't at all surprised by what happened to him later...
Like we said before, Martin Shkreli better steer clear of poker games with Godfather Whitney Tilson, or federal prison will be best he can hope for.
Oh, and Whitney is still not sure about SNAP as a longterm investment play.