'Pharma Bro' Sentenced To 7 Years In Prison After Tearful Apology

Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli arrives at Federal Court in Brooklyn with his attorney Benjamin Brafman

Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli arrives at Federal Court in Brooklyn with his attorney Benjamin Brafman

A federal judge sentenced former pharmaceutical executive and hedge-fund manager Martin Shkreli to seven years in prison Friday following his earlier conviction on three of eight counts of securities and wire fraud charges.

Shkreli was convicted in August of past year on charges related to a Ponzi-like scheme involving two hedge funds he previously managed and his former pharmaceutical company, Retrophin.

Unapologetic from the beginning, when he was roundly publicly criticized for defending the 5,000 percent price increase of Daraprim, a previously cheap drug used to treat HIV, Shkreli seemed to drift through his criminal case as if it was one big joke.

Although that incident had nothing to do with his trial before a federal court in NY, so great was the 34 year-old's notoriety that it was initially hard to find an impartial jury for the trial.

A month later, Shkreli's bail was revoked after he said on Facebook he'd pay $5,000 for strands of Hillary Clinton's hair.

Renowned for his cocky persona, Shkreli cried as he apologised to investors and told the judge he had made mistakes.

Prosecutors were seeking 15 years prison, arguing that Shkreli had showed no remorse for his actions and pointing to his provocative and freakish statements posted on social media. The judge said the property would not be seized until Shkreli had a chance to appeal.

The judge, Kiyo Matsumoto, said her decision did not have to do with Shkreli's reputation, track record with drug pricing, or politics. He's been in jail since September of past year and is now awaiting sentencing, but the presiding judge has already ordered Shkreli to forfeit about $7.36 million worth of assets. "He can't just be an average person who fails, like the rest of us.He needs to be mythical; he needs to be larger than life".

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"There are times when I want to hug him and hold him and comfort him and there are times when I want to punch him in the face", Brafman said.

His attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said during the hearing that he was sometimes frustrated by the 34-year-old Shkreli's self-defeating antics. "He is a man who needs to take responsibility for his actions".

He was convicted on August 5, 2017 of securities fraud and conspiracy in what prosecutors said amounted to a Ponzi scheme.

When questioned about the price hike by Congress a few months later he invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, only to tweet after the hearing that the politicians were "imbeciles".

She said it was clear he is a "tremendously gifted individual who has the capacity for kindness". He also ignored the advice of his lawyer by commenting on the trial via social media and YouTube. She suggested that those who were annoyed by it were missing the point.

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.

In court filings, prosecutors argued that Shkreli's remorse about misleading his investors was not to be believed.

"At its core, this case is about Shkreli's deception of people who trusted him", they wrote.

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