‘Pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli has been sentenced to 7 years in prison

Martin Shkreli.

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Martin Shkreli.
source
Reuters

  • Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
  • Best known for a 2015 price-gouging scandal involving a decades-old drug that his company acquired, Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud during his time running a hedge fund.
  • At the sentencing, Shkreli broke into tears, apologized to investors, and accepted responsibility for what he had done.

Former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

A federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, on Friday heard from Shkreli, his lawyer, and the prosecution before determining a sentence based on his conviction on securities fraud.

The judge, Kiyo Matsumoto, said her decision did not have to do with Shkreli’s reputation, track record with drug pricing, or politics. She spent a while going through the letters she received – against and in support – of Shkreli’s character.

Shkreli had been facing as long as 20 years in prison.

Shkreli is best known for a 2015 price-gouging scandal involving a decades-old drug that his company acquired. As CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, he raised the price of Daraprim, a drug used to treat a parasitic infection, by more than 5,000%, earning him the nickname “pharma bro.” The incident brought a lot of attention to the high costs of prescription drugs, an issue that still plagues the prescription-drug industry.

But Shkreli’s sentence isn’t related to that price hike; it stemmed from events earlier in his career while he managed a hedge fund. In August 2017, he was convicted of securities fraud during his time running a hedge fund. He’s been jailed since September after he offered a $5,000 bounty for some of Hillary Clinton’s hair.

At Friday’s hearing, Shkreli’s lawyer, Ben Brafman, made his case for a lighter sentence, expressing his frustration with some of the things Shkreli had said, saying there were times he wanted to “punch him in the face.”

Shkreli also got to speak at the hearing, apologizing to investors and accepting responsibility for his actions, according to CNBC reporter Meg Tirrell.

“There is so much more I want to do, and I will do it, the right way,” Shkreli said, while starting to break into tears.

On Monday, the judge ordered Shkreli to forfeit $7.36 million in assets, which could include Shkreli’s $5 million E-Trade account, stake in the pharmaceutical company Vyera Pharmaceuticals (formerly Turing Pharmaceuticals), the Wu-Tang Clan album Shkreli purchased in 2015, a Lil Wayne album, an enigma machine, and a Picasso painting.