He was nicknamed “the most detested man in America” and “Pharma Bro” for reproof the value of a drug against AIDS: the young bourgeois Martin Shkreli was sentenced Friday to seven years in jail by a brand new House of York choose.
Martin Shkreli, 34, who with his smirk has become the epitome of the supposed cynicism of the pharmaceutical industry, was convicted last August for securities fraud and stock manipulation after a lawsuit in Brooklyn federal court.
Facts unrelated to the 55 – from $ 13.5 to $750 per pill – the price of drug Daraprim, used against malaria and AIDS, by his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, in 2015. But which have earned him a intense media attention since his arrest in December 2015.
His lawyer Ben Brafman, a tenor from the New York Bar, had pleaded with Federal Judge Kiyo Matsumoto for a sentence of 18 months in jail for the character he described as “a genius a little autistic”, a self-taught extravagant capable of major innovations in the pharmaceutical field, according to some of his former collaborators.
Brafman even admitted Friday that he had sometimes wanted to “put his fist in the face,” as Martin Shkreli complicates his defense by his behavior, according to journalists present at the hearing.
The prosecution, who presented him as a compulsive liar, had claimed a minimum of 15 years in prison, arguing Shkreli’s lack of remorse and his obsession with self-promotion, particularly via the social networks on which he multiplied provocative or bizarre messages in recent months.
“He wants everyone to believe that he is a genius (…) a prodigy of biotechnology,” said the prosecutor Jacquelyn Kasulis. “He can not be an average person who fails, like us.”
In a letter sent last week to the judge, arguing for clemency, Mr. Martin Shkreli made his mea culpa for the first time, acknowledging that he was “a fool,” and promising to use his talents “for the sake of ‘humanity”. He also ensured he was “a good person with a lot of potentials.”
Remorse he reiterated Friday at the hearing, the strangled voice, evoking the “shameful actions” that led to his fall.
The repentant was too late to avoid a substantial prison sentence. But, added to donations he had made to charities before his arrest and his good behavior in prison in the last six months, he was able to push Judge Kiyo Matsumoto to opt for a sentence much lower than what was claimed by the charge.
Judge Kiyo Matsumoto announced on March 5 that Shkreli would also have to repay some $7.36 million to the federal authorities: a sum that the authorities could recover by seizing some of his property, including a Picasso and the only copy of an album of the legendary New York rap band Wu-Tang Clan Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.
Shkreli bought the album in 2015 for two million dollars, before trying to sell it on e-Bay last September. The auction did not exceed a million dollars, but the sale never materialized and the value of the album today is debated.
Since his arrest in December 2015, the Shkreli affair has been rich in twists and turns, fueling the character’s reputation for unpredictability and arrogance.
In September, he had offered a $5,000 reward for a lock of hair Hillary Clinton: the judge had then revoked his bail.
By selling the Wu-Tang Clan album, he had also brandished the threat of “breaking the album out of frustration.”
These twists have caused much more ink than the conviction that will earn him several years behind bars.
After five weeks of trial, Martin Shkreli was convicted in August of fraud on the securities of two alternative investment funds (hedge funds) of which he was the manager, MSMB Capital Management, and MSMB Healthcare Management, and for illegally using the shares. of the pharmaceutical company he had founded, Retrophin, to bail out the two funds.
But he had been acquitted of five other charges, including one of the most serious, over his alleged will to deceive investors.