Disgraced pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli has been sentenced to seven years in prison for securities fraud.
In August of 2017, Shkreli was convicted on three of the eight charges brought against him by federal prosecutors, which included securities fraud and conspiracy to commit both securities fraud and wire fraud. Prosecutors accused Shkreli of taking stock from his biotechnology firm Retrophin and using it to pay off debts from unrelated business dealings.
Prior to sentence, Shrkeli sobbed and begged the judge for “your honor’s mercy,” according to ABC News. “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.”
Additionally, Shkreli has been ordered to forfeit more than $7.3 million in personal assets, including his one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album, Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, which he purchased in 2015 for $2 million.
Shkreli first gained notoriety for his price-gouging of Daraprim, a drug used by AIDS and cancer patients. In 2015, Shkreli’s company raised the price of a single pill from $13.50 to $750. Rather than bow to public criticism, however, Shkreli seemingly embraced his role as a real-life villain. He used profits from Daraprim to purchase rare albums including Wu-Tang’s Once Upon a Time in Saolin and Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter 5. He also harassed female reporters who covered him and offered a $5,00 reward to the person who could grab a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair.
Despite these antics, Shkreli’s defense attorneys insisted that he was “a good person” who “cannot always control awkward, inappropriate behaviors.” Prosecutors said it was “absurd” to cast Shkreli as a misunderstood child genius. “He’s a man… [who] stole money for his own benefit,” the prosecutor said. “He’s no better than any other fraudster.”
Shkreli plans to appeal the conviction.