March 24, 2018

Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli Has Been Sentenced To Seven Years In Prison

11 March 2018, 01:29 | Rex Hubbard

Martin Shkreli the 'Pharma Bro' jailed for seven years

The Latest Lawyer Shkreli outspokenness shouldn’t hurt him

Cartoonishly evil pharma villain Martin Shkreli was sentenced today to seven years in prison for defrauding investors in two hedge funds.

His high-profile lawyer, Ben Brafman, described Shkreli as a mildly autistic, self-taught genius and asked USA district judge Kiyo Matsumoto to limit the prison sentence to a maximum of 18 months. The Brooklyn native's sentence comes after Shkreli was found guilty last August of lying to investors in business dealings from two failed hedge funds that cheated them out of millions.

Shkreli's lawyers had argued for a far more lenient sentence of 12 to 18 months. He told the court that "the one person to blame for me being here today is me..."

"He doesn't think that he did anything wrong because he thinks he's different", said prosecutor Jacquelyn Kasulis during the sentencing.

His actions prompted a rebuke from Hillary Clinton, then running for United States president, who said she would crack down on drug pricing if elected - a pledge that wiped tens of billions of dollars from the value of biotech stocks. "He is a man who needs to take responsibility for his actions".

Judge Kiyo Matsumoto emphasised: "This case is not about pharmaceutical pricing or Mr Shkreli's controversial statements or actions, nor his scientific aptitude". Last fall, he offered online followers a $5,000 reward to anyone who could get a lock of Hillary Clinton's hair.

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During the course of the trial, Shkreli was removed from Twitter for harassing a journalist for Teen Vogue magazine. Estimates are that Shkreli, 34, might get out in a couple of years if his behavior is good. But if he doesn't have enough money, the court order says he can forfeit some of his assets, including $5 million in cash in an E*Trade brokerage account, albums by the Wu Tang Clan and Lil Wayne, and a Picasso painting.

Attorney Benjamin Brafman is speaking at the sentencing Friday for the pharmaceutical company CEO on a securities fraud conviction. After buying the rights to Daraprim, Shkreli increased the price of the drug by over 55 times, - a single pill rose from $13.50 to $750.

Shkreli transformed into an worldwide villain in September 2015, when he hiked the price of Daraprim by 5,000 percent, to $750 per pill.

Shkreli's lawyer Ben Brafman, told reporters on Friday he thought the prison sentence was too severe.

Pharma Bro may technically be a man, but the public face that he has presented while gleefully jacking up prices on life saving drugs has lost him the respect of every human being with a semi-functioning brain. His net worth is still about $20 million, after subtracting the forfeiture and the fine, and also the taxes and legal fees he owes.

Judge Matsumoto read letters from Shkreli's family and supporters who rallied on his behalf.

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