Martin Shkreli, known as the smirking “Pharma Bro” who became famous for hiking the drug price of a life-saving drug, was sentenced to seven years in prison.
The 34-year-old was convicted of defrauding investors in two hedge funds he operated. Shkreli was accused of sending fake account statements to cover up huge losses. Shkreli used the profits from publicly traded Retrophin to pay back investors.
The former hedge fund manager cried in court as he read a prepared statement before sentencing, reports The Independent.
“I want the people who came here today to support me to understand one thing, the only person to blame for me being here today is me,” he said as he cried. “I took down Martin Shkreli.”
“I am terribly sorry I lost your trust,” he said. “You deserve far better.”
Despite being known for hiking the price of antiparasitic drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per pill, he was not convicted for this, as price gouging is not a crime.
Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, who is presiding over the case, stated that the sentencing was not about his controversial statements or the price hiking. Rather, the sentence was about Shkreli defrauding his investors, according to the Financial Times.
Due to the high-profile reporting of Shkreli’s price gouging, he became the face of the pharmaceutical price gouging and was dubbed the “Pharma Bro” and was considered the most hated man in America at the time.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 9, 2018
The then-presidential contender Hillary Clinton vowed to end the practice of price gouging in 2015 if she were to become president. In 2017, the 34-year-old’s bail was revoked after he offered $5,000 on social media for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) March 9, 2018
Martin Shkreli committed the fraudulent activities he was convicted of before the infamous price gouging of a lifesaving drug. Therefore, it is likely that the trial would have gone on without media attention had he not become famous.
The businessman has been ordered to forfeit $7.4 million in assets. This is including the only copy of an album by rap group the Wu-Tang Clan, which he bought for $2 million and almost sold for $1 million at an auction. He will likely give up other assets, which include a Picasso painting and Lil Wayne’s unreleased Tha Carta V.