It is not usual to see the man whom many have labeled as “scum” and “sociopath” for taking advantage of the weakest.
But when a judge in Brooklyn, New York, read the sentence for which he will have to spend seven years in prison , Martin Shkreli could not prevent the tears falling.
The 34-year-old was the executive director of the Turing pharmaceutical company and, for a few years, he managed two investment funds.
The court has condemned him because last year he sent his clients false information about the status of his deposit accounts, which suffered huge losses.
But Shkreli had already become famous long before. And he was known as the “most hated man in the United States.”
The reason? In 2015 it was known to increase by more than 5,000% the price of a drug for people with weak immune systems after their pharmacy took over the patent.
An irritating person
During the trial, which ended Friday with the reading of the sentence, his defense had requested a penalty of between 12 and 18 months in prison while the accusatory party had asked the judge for a 15-year sentence.
Defense attorney Benjamin Brafman acknowledged that his client could be an irritant.
Shkreli’s attitude was very different from what he had seen in other appearances before the judge. “I ended up with the figure of Martin Shkreli with my shameful actions,” said the accused as a sign of repentance.
The most hated in the United States?
Among those shameful actions, the young man may have referred to what earned him the nickname “the most hated man in the United States.” After founding Turing Pharmaceuticals, the company took the patent for the drug Daraprim and raised the price of the pill to US $ 750, more than 5,000% of its original cost.
People with AIDS, pregnant women and the elderly use this type of drug to strengthen their immune system.
Shkreli was identified as an example of the excesses of companies and his image was associated with the cruelest side of capitalism.
However, the price increase is not illegal (and not even unusual) in the pharmaceutical industry in the United States, so there was no charge for this.
But what did bring him before the courts was an accusation in 2015 of having committed fraud and looting millions of dollars from two hedge funds he managed, the MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare.
A judge found him guilty for that and for inflating the value of the shares of Retrophin , a pharmaceutical company he founded in 2011.
But before the reading of the final sentence, the lawyer said that the young man was ruined and suffered from depression and anxiety.
A strange request about Hillary Clinton
While Shkreil was waiting to receive the judge’s final decision, he was allowed to be released on bail. Just a month later, the young man made a request in social networks that would end him behind bars.
Shkreil asked his followers to take himthe hair of the former White House candidate , Hillary Clinton, in exchange for US $ 5,000. She had criticized him harshly in his campaign actions.
The judge revoked bail immediately and Shkreli ended up in prison. This Friday the sentence has finally been known.
Prosecutors seized the assets of more than US $ 7.4 million from the young man, including the copy of the album by an American hip-hop group, the Wu-Tang Clan, for which he is said to have paid up to US $ 2 million in a auction three years ago.
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