A U.S. district court judge in New York sentenced Martin Shkreli to 7 years in prison for his role in defrauding investors. The judge also fined Shkreli $75,000. Shkreli made headlines year earlier when, as an executive of a pharmaceutical company, he excessively raised the price of a life-saving drug.
In a Brooklyn federal court, Judge Kiyo Matsumoto announced the sentence. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 15 years, while lawyers representing Shkreli had hoped for a sentence in the range of 12-18 months. As the sentence was announced, Shkreli did not appear to react.
Benjamin Brafman, who is one of Shkreli’s attorneys, said that he thought that the sentence was too harsh, and that Shkreli should have gotten less than a 7-year imprisonment. Though Brafmsn also added that the sentence could have been much worse, and that he believes his client will persevere.
Prior to sentencing, Brafman argued that Shkreli was a broken man who was suffering from anxiety disorder and depression. He further said that the government just wanted to throw the man away. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn Kasulis countered that Shkreli deserved a 15-year sentence because his actions were not momentary lapses in judgement but instead continual patterns of fraud. She mentioned that Shkreli not only committed fraud in relation to the pharmaceutical company he ran, but also in regards to two separate hedge funds.
Shkreli, who is 34, was born to Albanian immigrants in Brooklyn, New York, and he received the moniker “Pharma Boy’ in 2015 while running Turing Pharmaceuticals. It was then that he bought an anti-parasitical drug called Daraprim, and he infamously raised its price to $750 per pill, which was an increase of 5,000%.
In December of that year, Shkreli was indicted for an unrelated charge of securities fraud. Then, in August of last year, a jury found Shkreli guilty of defrauding investors in two hedge funds he was running: MSMB Healthcare and MSMB Capital. He was also convicted of scheming to raise the stock price of Retrophin, which was another drug company he founded in 2011.
At the sentence hearing, Shkreli emotionally told the court that he brought himself down through his shameful and disgraceful mistakes.
In addition to the $75,000 fine, Shkreli was ordered to forfeit $7.36 million after his conviction.