Former pharmaceutical chief executive Martin Shkreli, known as the “pharma bro,” was sentenced to seven years in prison on Friday for defrauding investors and conspiring to manipulate stock prices, according to CNBC. Shkreli also raised the price of an important cancer drug by 5,000 percent. The sentence is still short of the 27 years recommended by federal guidelines.
Shrkeli will head to prison for misleading investors about the stock performance of his hedge funds MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare. Shkreli’s defense team requested a 12- to 18-month sentence after his conviction last year. According to Reuters, Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, called a 27-year-term “draconian and offensive.”
U.S. District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto referenced Shkreli’s “egregious multitude of lies” in her sentencing, according to the New York Times, noting that he “repeatedly minimized” his behavior. Shrkeli cried at the sentencing, saying, “I was never motivated by money. I wanted to grow my stature and my reputation. I am here because of my gross, stupid and negligent mistakes I made.”
“There are times when I want to hug him,” his lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told the judge Friday. “There are times I want to punch him in the face because he’s made my job more difficult by some of the things he’s said.”
Shkreli has been in prison since September, when Matsumoto revoked his bail. At the time, Shkreli, who became notorious for social media stunts, posted on Facebook offering $5,000 to anyone who brought him a hair from Hillary Clinton. “That is a solicitation to assault in exchange for money that is not protected by the First Amendment,” Matsumoto said.
Earlier this week, Judge Matsumoto ordered Shkreli to turn over more than $7 million in assets as he waited for his sentencing. This sum included Once Upon A Time in Shaolin, a famously unique album by the Wu-Tang clan, The Carter V, an unreleased Lil Wayne album allegedly in Shkreli’s possession, a Pablo Picasso painting and shares in the company Vyera Pharmaceuticals.
On Tuesday, Reuters reported that federal prosecutors asked Judge Matsumoto to sentence Shkreli to 15 years in prison. Lawyers described the former executive as “a man who stands before this court without any showing of genuine remorse.”
Shkreli wrote a letter to Judge Matsumoto saying he made “serious mistakes” in the past, but was “a good person with much potential.”