'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli sentenced to 7 years after tearfully begging for 'your honor's mercy'
(NEW YORK) — “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli was sentenced Friday to seven years with credit for six months served.
The sentence, which was less than half what the government asked for but more than the 18 months requested by the defense, came after Shkreli sobbed and begged the New York court for “your honor’s mercy.”
Shkreli, 34, apologized for his “disgraceful judgment” and dispensed with his prior criticisms of the court and his conviction.
“The only person to blame for me being here is me,” he said. “There is no government conspiracy to take down Martin Shkreli. I took down Martin Shkreli with my disgraceful and shameful actions.”
Shkreli, a former pharmaceuticals CEO who first became infamous for hiking the price of a lifesaving HIV drug, was convicted of securities fraud and faced a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
His persona, cultivated online, before Congress and with the decision to hike the price of the drug Daraprim, led his own defense attorney Benjamin Brafman to concede, “there are times I want to punch him in the face” but the judge assured the court that the “Daraprim pricing is not an issue.”
Shkreli, despite his infamous antics, “is a good person” who “cannot always control awkward, inappropriate behaviors,” the defense insisted.
But prosecutors said that plainly Shkreli “stole money for his own benefit,” calling it “absurd” to cast him as some misunderstood child genius.
“He’s a man,” the prosecutor said. “He’s no better than any other fraudster.”
Shkreli has been behind bars since September when a judge found he broke the terms of his bail by offering social media followers money for a hair sample from then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Separately, Shkreli must forfeit nearly $7.4 million, a federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, ruled Monday, which could force him to give up a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album.
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