Many people have wondered if Suzanna Shkreli, the director of the Office of Children’s Ombudsman in Michigan, is related to Martin Shkreli, the infamous “Pharma Bro” who was convicted of securities fraud and released from prison early. The two share the same last name and both have Albanian roots, but are they actually family? The answer is no, they are not related.
Suzanna Shkreli: A Public Servant and a Former Congressional Candidate
Suzanna Shkreli is a public servant who has dedicated her career to protecting children and fighting for justice. She currently serves as the director of the Office of Children’s Ombudsman (OCO) in Michigan, an independent agency that investigates complaints and advocates for improvements in the child welfare system. She was appointed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in December 2020.
Before joining the OCO, Shkreli worked as a deputy legal counsel in the Executive Office of the Governor, where she represented the governor on the Human Trafficking Commission and the Sexual Assault Evidence Kit Tracking and Reporting Commission. She also served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office for over 10 years, specializing in cases involving child abuse, sexual assault, and domestic violence. She received several awards for her work, including the Prosecutor of the Year Award from the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police in 2016.
Shkreli also ran for Congress in 2016 as a Democrat, challenging Republican incumbent Mike Bishop in Michigan’s 8th district. She entered the race after the original Democratic nominee, Melissa Gilbert, dropped out due to health issues. Shkreli campaigned on issues such as creating jobs, improving education, protecting Social Security and Medicare, and reducing prescription drug prices. She received endorsements from former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, and Senator Bernie Sanders, among others. However, she lost to Bishop by a margin of 17 points.
Shkreli was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Albanian immigrant parents who worked as janitors. She is a first-generation American and a practicing Catholic. She graduated from Oakland University with a degree in political science and from Thomas M. Cooley Law School with a juris doctor degree.
Martin Shkreli: A Controversial Entrepreneur and a Convicted Fraudster
Martin Shkreli is a controversial entrepreneur and a convicted fraudster who gained notoriety for raising the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000%. He is the co-founder and former CEO of several pharmaceutical companies, including Retrophin and Turing Pharmaceuticals. He is also the co-founder of several hedge funds, including Elea Capital, MSMB Capital Management, and MSMB Healthcare.
Shkreli became known as the “Pharma Bro” and the “most hated man in America” after he acquired the rights to Daraprim, a drug used to treat AIDS, malaria, and cancer patients, and increased its price from $13.50 to $750 per pill in 2015. He defended his decision by saying that he needed to fund research for new drugs and that his company was not making any profit from Daraprim. He also claimed that he would lower the price for patients who could not afford it, but he never did.
Shkreli also attracted attention for his online antics, such as live-streaming his daily life, trolling celebrities and journalists on social media, offering $5 million for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair, and buying the only copy of Wu-Tang Clan’s album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin for $2 million.
In 2017, Shkreli was convicted of two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy for lying to investors and manipulating the stock prices of his companies. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and ordered to forfeit $7.4 million in assets. He was also banned for life from serving in any capacity in the pharmaceutical industry and from running a public company. In May 2022, he was released early from prison to a halfway house after completing some programs that shortened his sentence.
Shkreli was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Albanian immigrant parents who worked as janitors. He is an atheist and a self-proclaimed genius. He skipped several grades in school and received a degree in business administration from Baruch College in 2004.
Conclusion: No Relation Between Suzanna Shkreli and Martin Shkreli
Despite sharing the same surname and ethnic background, Suzanna Shkreli and Martin Shkreli are not related. They have different parents, different careers, different personalities, and different values. They have never met or interacted with each other. The only thing they have in common is that they are both Albanian-Americans who were born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. However, that does not make them family.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were about 201,118 people of Albanian ancestry living in the United States in 2019. Shkreli is a common surname among Albanians, meaning “shepherd” or “herder” in Albanian. Therefore, it is not surprising that there are many people with the same last name who are not related to each other.
So, the next time you hear someone ask if Suzanna Shkreli is related to Martin Shkreli, you can confidently say no. They are two very different people with very different stories.