Martin Shkreli sentenced to seven years in prison for defrauding investors


Notorious former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison on his conviction for defrauding investors in his ailing hedge funds and conspiring to drain biotech Retrophin Inc.'s assets to pay off his debts. He was convicted a year ago of lying to investors in two failed hedge funds.

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

"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".

During the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Smith said Shkreli "has no respect for the law".

"Mr. Shkreli is about to turn 35 years old", she said "He is a man who needs to take responsibility for his actions".

"This is an interesting man with great potential", said Brafman, who told the judge he had his "begging voice" on.

"I also want to make clear that Mr. Shkreli is not a child", Kasulis said.

The judge, Kiyo Matsumoto, said her decision did not have to do with Shkreli's reputation, track record with drug pricing, or politics. But he was sent to prison weeks later after he offered a $5,000 bounty in a Facebook post to anyone who could "grab a hair" from Mrs Clinton's head during her recent book tour.

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Shkreli's fraud predated the price gouging controversy and this trial would have gone largely unnoticed but for his status as an worldwide pariah. The prosecutors had sought a 15 year sentence.

"Although he has been convicted of fraud, serious crimes, and he acted for pecuniary gain, he's also a personally generous, giving and kind individual", she said.

While awaiting sentencing, Shkreli boasted that he would end up serving hardly any time and what time he did serve would be in the relatively posh environs of a "Club Fed" prison for white collar criminals.

"He shouldn't be sentenced simply for being Martin Shkreli", defense lawyer Ben Brafman said.

Well, now it seems he's finally getting his comeuppance - and feeling the burn, too, having been seen breaking down into tears as the judge handed him his seven-year prison sentence this afternoon.

Shkreli is widely known as the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, the company that, in 2015, hiked the price of pyrimethamine (Daraprim) from $13.50 to $750 a pill.

Ahead of sentencing, Shkreli's attorney told the judge there were times he wanted to punch his client in the face.

Earlier this month Matsumoto granted prosecutors' request that Shkreli forfeit $7.36 million to the government.