Martin Shkreli, the entrepreneur famous for hiking the price of a life-saving medicine and defrauding hedge fund investors, was sentenced Friday to serve 7 years in prison.
Convicted in August on securities fraud charges, Shkreli was a sneering, smirking presence in interviews, Capitol Hill hearings and on the internet—at least until the judge tired of his antics and threw him in jail to await sentencing.
At Friday's hearing, the Wall Street Journal's Rebecca D. O'Brien wrote that Shkreli's own defense lawyer said "There are times I want to hug him…There are times when I want to punch him in the face."
Added Ben Brafman, the lawyer: "Quite frankly, I've got my begging voice on."
It was all to no avail, even after Shkreli wept and promised that he was a changed man. Judge Kiyo Matsumoto said the lengthy sentence had nothing to do with Shkreli's reputation or price-gouging. He faced up to 20 years in prison.
Now 34, Shkreli became well-known after raising the price of Daraprim, a pill used by HIV patients, from from $13.50 to $750. He was arrested on securities fraud charges over an unrelated hedge fund swizz: the prosecution contended he pilfered funds to start another company, while his defense noted he made good on the investments in the long run.
He was banned from Twitter after harassing a woman journalist there; he also fell into the habit of buying internet domains that include the names of journalists who wrote about him, including me.
Believing Shkreli to be cash-broke, the court already ordered him to sell off assets to pay fines, including his Wu-Tang Clan record collection.