(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

"Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli gets 7 years behind bars

Shkreli sobbed before the judge, and his usual trolling antics were absent during the sentencing


Rachel Leah
March 10, 2018 12:06AM (UTC)

Martin Shkreli, the widely-reviled pharmaceutical industry financier who became known as "Pharma Bro" after buying the patent for an HIV drug and raising the price 5,000 percent, was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday for defrauding investors.

Prosecutors argued for a sentence that was double that, while the defense requested 18 months or less. Shkreli, reportedly, sobbed before the judge, cutting a remorseful figure absent of the supercilious, headline-grabbing antics that made him into "the world's heel," in his words.

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"The only person to blame for me being here is me," he said in federal court in New York. "There is no government conspiracy to take down Martin Shkreli. I took down Martin Shkreli with my disgraceful and shameful actions."

"This case is not about Mr. Shkreli's self-cultivated public persona," the judge explained, "nor his controversial statements about politics or culture."

But the 34-year-old's reputation preceded him. Shkreli first made headlines when he was the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals and hiked prices of the lifesaving HIV drug Daraprim to a whopping $750 per pill — a move that, while not illegal, made him widely reviled, a cartoonish caricature of evil that he reveled in.

Shkreli was convicted of a separate securities fraud case last year. Aside from his prison sentence, for which Shkreli received credit for the six months he has already served, he was fined $75,000 and will have to forfeit $7.3 million in personal assets and in a brokerage account. Shkreli previously purchased a one-of-a-kind record album by hip hop legends The Wu-Tang Clan, the sole copy to have been produced, for $2 million; that album will be included in the forfeiture once Shkreli has a chance to appeal, the judge said.

Shkreli has been incarcerated since September, when the judge revoked his bail after he told his online followers he would pay $5,000 to anyone who could secure a lock of Hillary Clinton's hair. Previously, Shkreli had been booted from Twitter for harassing a female journalist.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis argued that Shkreli deserved a harsh sentence not because he is "the most hated man in America," according to the Chicago Tribune, but because he was convicted of a serious crime.

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Rachel Leah

Rachel Leah is a culture writer for Salon. You can follow her on Twitter: @rachelkleah.

MORE FROM Rachel Leah

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Daraprim Fraud Hillary Clinton Martin Shkreli Pharma Bro Prison Twitter Wu-tang Clan




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