“Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, who made headlines around the world when he jacked up the price of a life-saving AIDS drug, has been sentenced to seven years in prison for defrauding investors in two of his failed hedge funds.
Shkreli, who cried as his sentence was handed down, was last year found guilty on two counts of securities fraud, after lying to his investors to convince them to put more capital into his funds, as well as one count of conspiracy.
The notoriously cocky 34-year-old, who delights in trolling his detractors online and boasts about his extravagant purchases, appeared unusually contrite at the sentencing, and apologised to his investors and loved ones, saying:
“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. I took down Martin Shkreli … I am terribly sorry I lost your trust. You deserve far better.”
The defence submitted that Martin Shkreli is merely a “misunderstood eccentric” who used unconventional means to build wealth for his investors, while prosecutors characterised him as a “master manipulator” and conman, calling for a sentence of 15 years.
In handing down the seven-year term, Judge Kiyo Matsumoto remarked that the sentence was “not about Mr Shkreli’s self-cultivated public persona … nor his controversial statements about politics or culture,” but merely reflected the “serious” crime he committed.
Six months will be taken off the sentence for time already served, although Shkreli has also been fined $75,000, and will likely be forced to forfeit more than $9.3 million in cash and other assets, including the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album he purchased for $2.5 million.
The property will not be seized until Skhreli has had the opportunity to appeal.