Martin Shkreli, the notorious "Pharma Bro" who raised the price of a potentially life-saving drug used by AIDS patients 5,000%, was sentenced Friday in a NY federal court to seven years for defrauding investors in two failed hedge funds.
Shkreli's lawyer said he sometimes wants to hug his client and sometimes wants to punch him in the face, but he told a federal judge at his sentencing hearing Friday that his outspokenness shouldn't be held against him.
The government argued that their recommendation for Shkreli to be sentenced to 15 years behind bars is not an arbitrary number.
Prosecutors said that starting in 2009 Shkreli defrauded hedge fund investors, lying to them about losses, and used Retrophin as his "personal piggy bank", siphoning millions of dollars' worth of assets from the company to cover those losses.
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.
The Brooklyn-born entrepreneur became known as the "Pharma Bro" in September 2015 after founding Turing Pharmaceuticals, buying the anti-parasitic drug Daraprim and raising its price by 5,000 percent to $750 per pill. Shkreli is a convicted criminal, prosecutor Jacquelyn Kasulis said, whose fraud schemes took place over five years.
The notorious "Pharma Bro" Shkreli faced the court due to charges of security fraud from back in his hedge fund days. "The "real" Martin Shkreli may not be known to anyone save himself", the prosecution said.
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Shkreli, 34, remained hunched over and expressionless when the sentence was announced.
"Mr. Shkreli is about to turn 35 years old", she said " He is a man who needs to take responsibility for his actions".
He also infuriated members of Congress at a Capitol Hill hearing on drug prices when he repeatedly cited his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Shkreli has been in jail since September, when Matsumoto revoked his bail after he offered his social media followers $5,000 if they could bring him a hair from former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. And she spoke about how his family and friends "state, nearly universally, that he is kind and misunderstood" and willing to help others in need. She suggested that those who were annoyed by it were missing the point.
Some of the letters sent to the court on his behalf were as quirky as the defendant himself.
Another supporter said Shkreli's soft side was demonstrated when he adopted a cat from a shelter - named Trashy - that became a fixture on his livestreams.
"At its core, this case is about Shkreli's deception of people who trusted him", they wrote.