Martin Shkreli has captured many headlines over the years thanks to his involvement in pharmaceuticals and thanks to his widely reported move to increase the price of lifesaving medication by 5000% - along with his continued appearances in the media as someone who was seemingly proud to do so. The media has offered several pieces on the so-called ‘Pharma Bro’ over the years – he has been labelled by some as smug and irresponsible several times over – and while these words are hardly going to impact upon his freedom, the decision this week to see him incarcerated for fraud certainly will.
Prosecutors in the US sought extensive jail time for the entrepreneur, with it having been alleged that he created a scheme whereby he reportedly lied to hedge fund investors and moved millions of dollars across from Retrophin Inc – a drug company – however, it has been determined that he will spend seven years behind bars, a sentence which lead Shkreli to weep in court. Shkreli’s notoriety for upping the price of the Daraprim drug from $13.50 to $750 per pill three years ago is only the tip of the iceberg – he is not being incarcerated for this action, rather, the law has caught up with him with regard to fraudulent actions he carried out through his financial enterprises.
Shkreli had previously written to the judge presiding for leniency – on the grounds that he did not ‘act appropriately’ – however, while he will not escape jail, it seems that he will be benefiting from a sentence which is significantly shorter than that which was recommended by prosecutors, who requested that he be imprisoned for 15 years. The defense, meanwhile, requested that just 18 months be served as maximum. It seems, on this occasion, that the law system has opted for a middle route.
Shkreli is thought to have not only scammed investors – over $11 million is alleged to have been involved – but also that he has been funding himself through his own pharmaceutical firm. This, coupled with the entrepreneur’s already controversial image, seem to have lit up the media in recent days. He has been summed up as a ‘dangerous’ man in court – one which, according to the legal system and presiding judge, will not be free on the streets any time soon. Despite Shkreli having seemingly revelled in his notoriety in recent years, his weeping in court may well show that those days are behind him as he heads off to spend the majority of the next decade behind bars.