Economy

Martin Shkreli Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Securities Fraud

Martin Shkreli Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison for Securities Fraud

Shkreli became widely accepted as an evil villain after he raised the price of a life-saving drug used to treat HIV.

The self-promoting pharmaceutical executive notorious for trolling critics online was convicted in a securities fraud case a year ago unconnected to the price increase dispute. "He lied to get investors' money, he lied to keep them invested in his funds and he lied once those investors wanted their money back".

"Although he has been convicted of fraud, serious crimes, and he acted for pecuniary gain, he's also a personally generous, giving and kind individual", she said. But he's upset his client will be behind bars for so long. One woman described how she became an avid follower of Shkreli's social media commentary about science, the pharmaceutical industry, but mostly, about himself.

U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto issued the order against the jailed Shkreli four days before he is to face sentencing for his conviction a year ago on charges he cheated wealthy investors in two failed hedge funds he was managing.

At his trial past year, Shkreli often wore a smirk and was chastised by the judge for his behavior, including for an incident in which he told reporters that the prosecutors on the case were "junior varsity". His attorney argued that Shkreli deserved only 18 months or less in prison, explaining that he shouldn't be punished for having a big mouth. The judge says she did not take his outside actions into account.

The asset forfeiture decision is only the latest bump in the road for Shkreli, who found himself with his bond revoked and in jail last September after a unusual post on his Facebook account in which he placed an open bounty of $5,000 on a piece of Hillary Clinton's hair.

Shkreli's lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told reporters after the hearing that he was "disappointed" by the sentence.

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He said he is the only person to blame - not the media, not the government, nor his business partners - and that he hopes to make amends and learn from his mistakes.

Ah, Martin Shkreli, the disgraced "Pharma Bro" who's been busy ruffling all the feathers in the past few years. She said the judge had to consider his history and said he has "no respect whatsoever" for the law, or the court proceedings.

Arrested three years ago, in 2015, it wasn't until August last year (2017) that Shkreli was found guilty of three counts of securities fraud by a somewhat "difficult to come by" jury (as published by Harper's).

"There are times I want to punch him in the face, because he's made my job more hard by some of the things he's said", #MartinShkreli's lawyer Benjamin Brafman tells judge at sentencing.

Shkreli insisted he was being persecuted by prosecutors for being outspoken and confidently predicted after his conviction that he was unlikely to be sentenced to jail.

A federal judge in Brooklyn will have to weigh the conflicting portrayals of the former pharmaceutical company CEO on Friday at his sentencing on a securities fraud conviction.