Martin Shkreli, known as ‘Pharma Bro’, has been sentenced today (March 9) to seven years in prison after being found guilty of defrauding investors.
The 34-year-old former drug firm executive infamously increased the price of a lifesaving AIDS drug by 5,000 per cent in 2015.
He also lied to investors sending fake account statements about two of his hedge funds’ performance in the same year.
Concealing huge losses, he misappropriated funds to pay them back.
Shkreli quickly became notorious as news of his antics made headlines and was soon dubbed ‘Pharma Bro’ and ‘the most hated man in America’ becoming the poster boy for corporate excess.
The immoral businessman was later arrested on fraud charges and charged with illegally pilfering stock from another of his biotech companies, Retrophin Inc, to pay off his own debts.
According to reports, he wept at a hearing today as a federal court judge in Brooklyn, New York, handed down the prison sentence two-and-a-half-years after he first attracted media attention.
CNBC described how a ‘choked-up’ Shkreli told the judge:
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.
This is my fault. I am no victim here.
He had also written to the judge last month admitting that he ‘was a fool’.
Shkreli’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman acknowledged in court today, while speaking to the judge, that his client could be annoying.
I’ve got my begging voice on.
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.
His defense lawyers had asked in a court filing last week for the judge to give Shkreli a light prison sentence of 12 to 18 months as well as 2,000 hours of community service and mandatory therapy.
Prosecutors were arguing for at least 15 years jail time.
In addition to his prison sentence, Shkreli has been ordered by the judge to pay nearly $7.4 million to the federal government because of his crimes.
He has been told to give up his ownership of a $5 million stock account as well as a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album that he had purchased for $2 million, a Picasso painting, a Lil Wayne album, and his stake in Vyera Pharmaceuticals, which previously was known as Turing.
He now plans to appeal his conviction.
The sentencing comes after Shkreli made an inappropriate Facebook post which offered money for a piece of Clinton’s hair last July.
In January 2017 he was also suspended from Twitter for harassing the editor of Teen Vogue, Lauren Duca, while attempting to woo her.
Shkreli had allegedly been sending Duca a number of weird messages over social media and also changed his Twitter bio to ‘I have a small crush on @laurenduca (hope she doesn’t find out)’.
I would rather eat my own organs pic.twitter.com/IgeCRZqk8w
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) January 5, 2017
While that would be odd enough Shkreli took things a step further and changed his Twitter header to a rather disturbing collage of Duca and profile picture to Duca sitting with her husband with his face Photoshopped onto the husband’s body.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.