THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks

‘Most hated man’ gets seven years in jail for defrauding investors

UNITED STATES: Martin Shkreli, once dubbed the most hated man in America for ratcheting up the price of an HIV drug, was sentenced to seven years in prison yesterday (Mar 9) on charges of defrauding investors.

crimedrugshealth
By AFP

Saturday 10 March 2018, 02:34PM


Pharmaceutical executive and hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli was sentenced to seven years prison for defrauding investors. Photo: AFP

Pharmaceutical executive and hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli was sentenced to seven years prison for defrauding investors. Photo: AFP

The disgraced former pharmaceutical executive and hedge fund manager was convicted in August last year of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and two counts of securities fraud.

Shkreli, who once led Turing Pharmaceuticals, became known as “Pharma Bro” and is infamous for suddenly raising the price of the drug Daraprim in 2015 by 5,000% – from US$13.50 (B422) a pill to $750 (B23,483).

He smirked through a congressional hearing that scrutinised his actions and has since earned a reputation for an extravagant, self-publicising lifestyle.

Although the drug controversy had nothing to do with his trial before a federal court in New York, so great was the 34-year-old’s notoriety that it was initially difficult to find an impartial jury for the trial.

Arrested in December 2015, his bail was revoked in September after he offered a reward for anyone who would grab a strand of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s hair.

Shkreli insisted it was a joke.

His high-profile lawyer, Ben Brafman, described Shkreli as a mildly autistic, self-taught genius and asked US District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto to limit the prison sentence to a maximum of 18 months.

But even Brafman acknowledged “there are times when I want to punch him in the face” because his client’s behaviour complicated the defence, according to reporters who were in the courtroom.

Prosecutors were seeking 15 years’ prison, arguing that Shkreli showed no remorse for his actions and pointing to his provocative and bizarre statements posted on social media.

“He wants everyone to believe he is a genius, a whiz kid, a self-taught biotech wonder,” said prosecutor Jacquelyn Kasulis.

“He can’t be just an average person who fails, like the rest of us.”

In a letter sent last week to the judge, Shkreli pleaded for leniency and for the first time admitted he had erred.

“I made serious mistakes but I still believe that I am a good person with much potential. I was a fool,” he said, expressing a wish to work “for the betterment of humanity”.

With a choking voice, he reiterated in court his remorse at the “shameful actions” that led to his downfall.

On top of six months of good behaviour already spent behind bars, and after charity donations he made before his arrest, the repentance helped to lower his sentence far below what the prosecution requested.

Last Monday (Mar5), Matsumoto ordered Shkreli to pay back $7.36 million (B230.44mn) to federal authorities, an amount they can recover by seizing his assets.

These include a Picasso painting and his unique copy of an album by rappers Wu-Tang Clan.

In 2015, he purchased for US$2mn (B62.62mn) the sole edition of the ensemble’s “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin”, which he put up for sale on eBay in September – while also threatening to “break this album in frustration”.

The winning bid was a little more than US$1mn (B31.31mn) but by then Shkreli was already in jail after his bail revocation, throwing the deal in doubt.

Shkreli had been convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy a month earlier.

The jury, however, cleared him of more than half the charges for allegedly stealing US$11mn (B344.24mn) in stock from his first pharmaceutical company Retrophin to pay off investors who lost money in two of his hedge funds.

The verdict left Brafman suggesting that Shkreli might even avoid jail time.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Island Man | 11 March 2018 - 07:55:11

Sounds like a perfect candidate for Trump's cabinet.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Man charged after deadly head-on collision

Belt and Airbag would be helpful. R.I.P....(Read More)


Master water plan given green light

Nice, that 20 years '4 pillar' thing. A lot of work granted for office workers. The Third Pi...(Read More)


No animal cruelty at Phuket Zoo, say officials

As long as MNRE, DLD, Wild Life Edcation Centres, thai Vets and Zoo managers think it is normal to h...(Read More)


Fast & Furious 9 to take on Phuket roads

Mr Wiesel, 1: I didn't say I have a problem. 2: You not understand that other people could still...(Read More)


No animal cruelty at Phuket Zoo, say officials

Were there any blood tests done, a toxicology report should be available for all to see,a visual che...(Read More)


Fast & Furious 9 to take on Phuket roads

Sorry Mr. Kurt but i dont understand your problem because i have my own pump and dont have problems ...(Read More)


Fast & Furious 9 to take on Phuket roads

Sorry mr Wiesel. In Thailand is a lot of 'planning-talks' happening . After that it stops, i...(Read More)


No animal cruelty at Phuket Zoo, say officials

Herein lies the problem. The officials that do the inspections are either paid for their favorable r...(Read More)


Fast & Furious 9 to take on Phuket roads

As if there aren't enough fast and furious drivers already on the roads in Phuket, now to glorif...(Read More)