'Pharma Bro' faces high stakes sentencing in fraud case


Martin Shkreli, Wu-Tang Clan fan, pharma bro, and embodiment of the evils of capitalism, has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison.

Is "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli a master manipulator who conned wealthy investors or a misunderstood eccentric who used unconventional means to make those same investors even wealthier? This is my fault.

Shkreli famously purchased the sole copy of Wu-Tang Clan's "Once Upon A Time In Shaolin" album for $2 million back in 2015 and recently listed the item for sale on eBay.

In handing down her sentence, Judge Kiyo Matsumoto cited Shkreli's "egregious multitude of lies", and said that while he seemed "genuinely remorseful", he had also "repeatedly minimised" his conduct.

Shkreli's lawyers had argued for a far more lenient sentence of 12 to 18 months.

The $75,000 fine comes on top of $7.36 million in forfeiture Shkreli had already been ordered to pay following his conviction. He's been jailed since September after he offered a $5,000 bounty for some of Hillary Clinton's hair. He told the court that he sometimes wants to hug Shkreli and sometimes wants to punch him, but that his outspokenness shouldn't be held against him.

"The only person to blame for me being here is me", Shkreli is reported to have said. The crimes, related to stock manipulation of shares in Retrophin, one of Shkreli's companies, and ripping off hedge fund backers, could have carried a sentence of up to 20 years.

But even after becoming one of the most hated men in America, Shkreli managed to pull off a spectacular fall from grace, when he was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on fraud charges, relating to his hedge fund businesses.

Several days earlier, Matsumoto ordered Shkreli to surrender almost $7.4 million in assets, including the only copy of a one-of-a-kind album by the rap group Wu-Tang Clan valued at roughly $2 million.

At the sentencing hearing, prosecutor Jacqueline Kasulis slammed Shkreli as an unrepentant fraudster who cares only about himself and his supersized ego. During the trail, the judge, Matsumoto, was forced to order Shkreli to stop talking after he walked into a room full of reporters and called the prosecutors the "JV team".

Although jurors at his trial were told to disregard his price gouging history, the episode was cited by government prosecutors in their push for a tough sentence.

The time Shkreli spent in prison will be credited to his seven-year sentence.

Court filings show that nobody was impressed with Shkreli's show of remorse.