‘Pharma Bro’ sentenced to prison for defrauding investors

The long saga involving Martin Shkreli ended in a New York courtroom Friday when U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto sentenced the former drug company executive to seven years behind bars for swindling hedge fund investors.

Attorneys for Shkreli had asked their client receive a minimum eight-month sentence.  Prosecutors in the case recommended 15 years.

Breaking down during the sentencing phase of his trial, Shkreli addressed the court:

“This is my fault. I am no victim here.  Do not feel bad for me.  The one person to blame for me being here today is me.  Not the government. There is no conspiracy to take down Martin Shkreli.  I took down Martin Shkreli with my disgraceful and shameful actions.”

In stark contrast to his defiant behavior in prior appearances in and outside the courtroom, Shkreli continued to acknowledged his errors Friday and apologized to investors, asking for forgiveness over loss of trust.

Despite his tear-filled plea, Matsumoto was unmoved and sentenced the convicted drug swindler to seven years behind bars and a $75,000 fine.

Part of the sentence imposed, Judge Matsumoto ordered Shkreli to forfeit assets worth over $7 million, including a Picasso painting and a rare Wu-Tang Clan album.

Earlier in the week, Matsumoto ruled Shkreli was liable for $10.4 million in losses incurred while he led Turing Pharmaceuticals.

Shkreli, 35, whose untidy appearance and smug disposition earned him the byname “Pharma Bro” and was often referred to as “the most hated man in America,” was convicted in August 2017 of sending false statements to investors while hiding substantial losses from two separate hedge funds he operated.

Shkreli first gained notoriety in 2015 when, while serving as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, he obtained the license for Daraprim and raising its price from $13.50 to $750 a tablet, a 5,000 percent hike in cost.

Charged in December 2015, Shkreli faced counts on securities fraud and bilking investors of millions.  He had been free while awaiting sentencing, but was ordered to jail after offering $5,000 to social media followers for a lock of Hillary Clinton’s hair.


[Reuters] [CNBC] [Photo courtesy Getty Images via Axios]