Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli cried like a baby before a judge sentenced him to seven years in prison for defrauding investors.
The stiff prison term capped the dramatic fall of the 34-year-old biotech entrepreneur-turned-international villain who first gained infamy for jacking up the price of a life-saving drug for AIDS patients.
“There is no conspiracy to take down Martin Shkreli. I took down Martin Shkreli with my disgraceful and shameful actions,” a sobbing Shkreli said Friday, his voice cracking and his address interrupted by the judge handing him tissues.
“This is my fault. I am not a victim here.”
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Shkreli remained hunched over and expressionless when the verdict was announced. He later flashed an “OK” sign to his family as he was led out of the courtroom.
Federal prosecutors had requested a sentence of at least 15 years after Shkreli was convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy.
His lawyers argued that he deserved 12 to 18 months. In his typical grating style, Shkreli himself once boasted that he would likely spend mere months at a cushy “Club Fed” prison.
“He shouldn’t be sentenced simply for being Martin Shkreli,” defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman said.
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“I’m old enough to be his father … There are times I want to hug him and hold him, times I want to punch him in the face for some of the things he said.”
Prosecutor Jacquelyn Kasulis slammed Shkreli as an unrepentant fraudster who cares only about himself and his supersized ego.
“What motivates Martin Shkreli is his own image,” Kasulis said. “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.”
The bright and blustery man from Sheepshead Bay transformed into a global pariah in September 2015, when he hiked the price of Daraprim by 5,000%, to $750 per pill.
Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli ordered to forfeit $7.36 million
Shkreli stoked his notoriety by stonewalling federal lawmakers at a hearing and later tweeting they were “imbeciles.”
He was kicked off Twitter last January for harassing journalist Lauren Duca.
Some prospective jurors in his 2017 trial were excused for calling Shkreli a “snake,” a “d–k,” and “the face of corporate greed in America.”
But the case had nothing to do with Daraprim, a drug used to treat infections in people with HIV/AIDS.
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It focused on how Shkreli — before becoming the “most hated man in America” — ran his hedge funds and pharmaceutical company.
Prosecutors said he churned out lies to extract investor money and string them along. Shkreli said they were sophisticated people who knew the risks and made eye-popping profits.
The trial had its bizarre turns — Shkreli once ambled into a press room to trash the case, and a gay investor testified that perhaps Shkreli talked of male trysts so he could ingratiate himself with the well-heeled man.
The trial ended last August with jurors convicting Shkreli on three counts and acquitting him on five others.
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“This was a witch hunt of epic proportions,” Shkreli said at the time, even if “one or two broomsticks” were unearthed.
Earlier this week, Brooklyn Federal Judge Kiyo Matsumoto ordered Shkreli to forfeit $7.36 million.
She allowed prosecutors to go after Shkreli’s Picasso painting and his hip hop crown jewels — a copy of Lil’ Wayne’s “Tha Carter V” and a single-edition cut of the Wu-Tang Clan’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.”
Shkreli reportedly shelled out $2 million for the only copy of the Wu-Tang double CD billed as a collector’s album.
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Shkreli’s lawyer argued he shouldn’t have to forfeit a dime because he ultimately made his rich investors richer.
Much has changed since the verdict, when Shkreli left court as a felon feeling fine.
Matsumoto revoked his $5 million bail in September and sent him to jail after he fired off a Facebook post offering a $5,000 reward for a lock of Hillary Clinton’s hair.
Behind bars, Shkreli said he was tutoring other inmates, playing chess and basketball, and getting his head right.
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“I have learned a very painful lesson,” he wrote to Matsumoto. “Never again will I prevaricate or omit or mislead — intentionally or not.”
Prosecutors said Shkreli’s snarky, defiant jailhouse emails showed his apology was “a carefully constructed façade.”
While Shkreli was growing a beard and drawing the ire of prosecutors in a federal lock-up, his one-time lawyer went to trial.
Prosecutors said Evan Greebel engineered Shkreli’s cons at his pharmaceutical company, Retrophin. Greebel argued that Shkreli duped him.
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Greebel was convicted on both charges in December, costing him his law license.
Greebel is appealing the verdict.
Shkreli’s high-profile legal saga is also not yet over. He, too, has announced plans to file an appeal.
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