'Pharma Bro' receives sentence following fraud conviction
Martin Shkreli has been sentenced to seven years in prison for fraud, breaking down crying and begging for “mercy” during his sentencing.
The so-called ‘Pharma Bro’ – once dubbed the “most hated man in America” – was convicted of fraud last August and has remained in custody since September after having his bail revoked over threatening comments made about Hillary Clinton on social media.
The New York Times now reports that Shkreli has received a seven-year sentence for defrauding investors in former hedge funds. His lawyer had initially wanted 12-18 months prison time, while prosecutors called for at least 15 years.
Federal District Court Judge Kiyo A Matsumoto said that while Shkreli seemed “genuinely remorseful,” he also “repeatedly minimised” his actions.
Speaking during the sentencing, Shkreli’s prosecutor said that he “has no respect whatsoever for the law”, “wants everyone to believe that he is a genius, a whiz kid” and that “cultivating that image is important to him above all else.”
Shkreli himself said: “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.”
Reports state that Shkreli broke down in tears during the sentencing, while a doctor’s report noted how Shkreli “possesses a sense of entitlement” and “may have illusions of invincibility”.
ABC News reports that Shkreli begged the judge for “mercy” during the sentencing.
“The only person to blame for me being here is me,” Shkreli is reported to have said. “There is no government conspiracy to take down Martin Shkreli. I took down Martin Shkreli with my disgraceful and shameful actions.”
Shkreli has also been ordered to give up his one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album as part of his fraud conviction.
Wu-Tang leader RZA recently said that he “will always respect” Shkreli for “making history” by purchasing the Wu-Tang Clan album.
“We can thank Martin for being a guy who put his word on something and did it,” RZA told NME. “I didn’t agree with the eBay thing, but when I read his paragraph on why he did it, I kind of respected and understood what he said.”
“He wants the value of music to continue. Within eight days the bidding reached over a million dollars, and that means there are other people who put value on music and value on what we stand on… So even with all the negative things he’s done, for music there’s something positive there.”