Martin Shkreli gained notoriety in 2016 by spiking the price of a life-saving HIV drug by about 5,000 percent. Dubbed ‘Pharma Bro,’ he later found himself in hot water for committing investment fraud. Although his lawyer was pushing for less than 18 months, Shkreli was recently sentenced to seven years in prison. During his sentencing, ‘Pharma Bro’ seemed much less cocky than he has in the past.
When Shkreli first learned of the criminal charges against him, he predicted that he’d never do any time in jail. But his prediction was quickly proven wrong. Unfortunately for him, his bail was immediately revoked after he jokingly offered money to any person who could obtain a lock of hair from then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Shkreli, who was convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy on August 5, 2017, appeared more humble in court on Friday, as he admitted to his many mistakes. In fact, the 34-year-old broke into tears, pleading for leniency from the judge.
“I look back and I’m embarrassed and ashamed,” he said in court.
The judge felt it important to note that although Shkreli was widely criticized – and disliked – for inflating the price of the HIV drug, this had nothing to do with his current sentencing. In addition to imprisonment, he was also ordered to pay about $75,000 in fines.
He Wasn’t Always So Humble
In the past, Shkreli has not only not been apologetic for raising the price of the drug or misleading investors, he actually took to social media to taunt prosecutors and journalists. In fact, his harassment of freelance reporter Lauren Duca got him banned from Twitter in early 2017. Shkreli sent Duca harassing Twitter messages, asking if she would be his plus one to Trump’s inauguration and changing his profile picture to an altered image of Duca and her husband, swapping her husband’s face for his own.
Duca complained about the harassment to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and later sent the following message via Twitter to the Verge, an online tech culture company.
“Martin Shkreli is engaged in targeted harassment, and absolutely deserves to have his account suspended. It’s unfortunate that the only reason people are paying attention is because he’s relatively high-profile. Trolling seems to be an automatic occupational hazard for female writers who receive any level of professional attention. That’s something Twitter needs to work harder to fix, but obviously the problem runs far deeper.”
This criminal offense can take many forms, and penalties vary widely – from five years or more per offense and fines of up to $5 million. Some of the most common types of securities fraud are churning and insider trading. Churning occurs when an adviser encourages a client to make excessive trades, for the purpose of generating more broker fees or commissions. Insider trading occurs when someone who knows private information about a company attempts to profit through the buying or selling of a stock, based on that private information.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston Criminal Law Firm
If you have been charged with securities fraud or are currently under investigation of such a crime , the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. Our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys will ensure that you fully understand your rights and options before moving forward, and we’ll be by your side throughout the entire process. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.