Martin Shkreli isn’t challenging the government any longer. The ‘Pharma Bro’ fraudster convicted of misleading investors to the tune of $10.4 million—has just been sentenced to 7 years in prison.
Journalists in the courtroom, reporting on Twitter, said the judge thought Shkreli was truly remorseful now, but that a minimal sentence would not serve to deter him from future fraud.
Prosecutors had been seeking a 15-year prison sentence.
Not long ago, he put a bounty on Hillary Clinton’s hair. Two weeks ago, he was still arrogant and challenging the government, crying ‘conspiracy’. Last week, he started begging for mercy. Today, he was crying in the courtroom.
It’s been a bad couple of weeks for Shkreli.
On Monday, federal Judge Kiyo Matsumoto ordered the former drug company CEO to forfeit $7.36 million in assets.
Those assets could include a Picasso painting and a single-copy Wu-Tang Clan album Shkreli won at auction for a reported $2 million.
The Judge said that Shkreli could also be made to hand over $5 million in a brokerage account and his stake in Vyera Pharmaceuticals, which he founded.
In the first of a string of recent setbacks beginning last week, Judge Matsumoto ruled that the crimes committed by Shkreli resulted in losses amounting to $10.4 million. Related: The 5 Biggest ICO Scams Of 2017
Shkreli’s entire defense had been based on the fact that while he misled investors, they hadn’t really lost any money. And the fact that Shkreli had returned money to investors carried no weight with Matsumoto, who said it was not out of good faith; rather investors had become suspicious.
Shkreli’s attitude has certainly been a problem. Even his lawyer admitted today to fighting the urge to “punch him in the face” at times.
Six months ago, he offered up a rather direct challenge to the government via Facebook:
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Beyond offering $5,000 for a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair, being banned by Twitter for harassing a female journalist, calling the members of U.S. Congress “imbeciles” and the prosecution “junior varsity” … he’s also insisted throughout that the whole thing is a government conspiracy.
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Today, however, according to a journalist Tweeting developments in the courtroom during his sentencing, Shkreli gave up on the conspiracy theory:
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The case has beguiled the legal and trading worlds, largely because there are worse cases, and worse losses, for which fraudsters have been treated much more leniently.
This has led many to wonder what the motivation for the case against Shkreli really is, and how much his arrogant attitude and complete lack of remorse played into his conviction and sentencing; or whether everyone’s just had enough of fraudsters getting of too easily, and times are definitively changing?
By way of comparison, Jordan Belfort, AKA the Wolf of Wall Street, served only 22 months of a four-year sentence in exchange for a plea deal for pump-and-dump scams that led to investor losses of approximately $200 million.
Shkreli makes a good example, though, for how the pharma industry shouldn’t be run—or shouldn’t be allowed to run amok.
Indeed, he has become somewhat of a poster boy for drug price reform. After all, the drug company he acquired raised prices on a key drug by 5,000 percent in 2015. That was the target of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and the reason behind Shkreli’s bounty on her hair.
Bad attitude aside, Shkreli picked the wrong industry as his playground—at the wrong time.
Prison is not likely to be kind to the ‘Pharmo Bro’, either, where is reportedly not on the popular inmate list.
By David Craggen for Safehaven.com
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