The New York Times reported on Friday that Martin Shkreli, the former pharmaceutical executive nicknamed “Pharma Bro” was sentenced to seven years in prison related to his involvement in pharmaceutical company Retrophin and two hedge funds he operated. Shkreli is best known for raising the price of Daraprim, a drug to treat toxoplasmosis, by 5000% in 2015. In August, Shkreli was convicted on eight counts of fraud including lying to investors regarding the management of the hedge funds, what they invested in, and how much money they held.
In addition to the seven-year prison term, Shkreli must forfeit $7.36 million in restitution to the government and pay a $75,000 fine. Shkreli’s attorneys argued for a lighter sentence claiming Shkreli was remorseful. However, Shkreli’s behavior and statements both during and after his trial worsened his situation. During his trial, Shkreli wrote on Facebook that if he were acquitted he would be able to have an intimate relationship with a female journalist he posted about online. Later in September, one month after his conviction, Shkreli offered $5,000 to anyone who would pluck a hair from Hillary Clinton’s head during her book tour.
Prior to sentencing, prosecutors had requested a fifteen-year prison term and the defense had asked for twelve to eighteen months. Some attorneys in Shkreli’s legal team allegedly suggested that he would not be sentenced to prison because he had paid back his investors, meaning there was no financial loss for them. Benjamin Brafman, one attorney for Shkreli, said “There are times when I want to hug him, 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.”
Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto said that Shkreli’s “egregious multitude of lies” contributed to the length of his sentence. Judge Matsumoto also said that while Shkreli seemed “genuinely remorseful,” he “repeatedly minimized” his conduct through statements after his conviction. Following his proposal to steal hairs from Hillary Clinto, Judge Matsumoto revoked Shkreli’s bail and he has been held in Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.
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