Pharma Bro is in for some hard time
Martin Shkreli, an entrepreneur who became infamous for price-gouging the HIV drug Daraprim, has been sentenced to seven years in prison for securities fraud. The new was broken by New York Times journalist Stephanie Clifford on Twitter today.
Breaking: #MartinShkreli sentenced to 7 years in prison.
— Stephanie Clifford (@stephcliff) March 9, 2018
In August, a jury found him guilty of three (out of eight) counts of securities fraud. At the time, he faced up to 20 years in prison. Shkreli was convicted of fraud connected to his hedge fund MSMB Capital, MSMB Healthcare, and biomedical company Retrophin, according to The New York Times. Shkreli was originally arrested in 2015 for allegedly illegally taking stock from Retrophin Inc, a company he founded in 2011.
Shkreli became infamous in 2015 for hiking the price of Daraprim, a medication used by those suffering from HIV/AIDS. Shkreli’s company Turing Pharmaceuticals bought the rights to the drug, and raised the price from US$13.50 to US$750, an increase of roughly 5500%.
Shkreli was utterly unapologetic for his actions, which were not illegal but seen by most to be profoundly immoral.
After the Daraprim scandal, Shkreli made headlines when he purchased the one-off Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, and subsequently engaged in a social media beef with Ghostface Killah.
In December of 2017, it was reported that federal prosecutors named the Wu-Tang album among assets of Shkreli’s that could be seized to pay a proposed $7.4 million penalty. Earlier this month, a U.S. District court judge ruled in favor of that recommendation.
Thanks to his smug demeanor and immodest rebuttals of criticism surrounding his actions as head of Turing, Shkreli is almost universally reviled, and seems to have relished his role as villain since coming to the public eye. In fact, even his defense attorney found him insufferable.
During the sentencing, Shkreli’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman said “There are times I want to punch him in the face, because he’s made my job more difficult by some of the things he’s said.”
Likewise, the prosecuting attorney, meanwhile, said of the defendant: “He has no respect whatsoever for the law or for this process… He wants everyone to believe that he is a genius, a whiz kid… Cultivating that image is important to him above all else.”
Shkreli came to tears in the courtroom during his sentencing, expressing regret for his actions and saying, “Many of you who love me, support me and look up to me should reassess your position.”
It is not yet known what will happen to the Wu-Tang album.