healthHealth and Medicine

"Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli Has Been Jailed Early For The Most Bizarre Reason Ever


Robin Andrews

Science & Policy Writer

Shkreli. JStone/Shutterstock

Martin Shkreli is by all accounts a rather despicable human being. A self-titled “pharma bro”, he was formerly the head of a drug manufacturer that, among other things, jacked up the price of a life-saving treatment for AIDS patients by 5,000 percent. Mercifully, he was arrested in 2015 and found guilty on three counts of fraud in August 2017.

He had been let loose on the public once again after paying $5 million in bail, but Shkreli – who has been described as both a “greedy little man” and “snake” and a “dick” – couldn’t help himself. Known for being an aggressive social media troll at the best of times, he recently shared something rather ridiculous on Facebook.


“The Clinton Foundation is willing to KILL to protect its secrets,” he blustered. “So on HRC’s book tour, try to grab a hair from her. I must confirm the sequences I have.

“Will pay $5,000 per hair obtained from Hillary Clinton.”

Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, upon hearing this, ordered that Shkreli be jailed immediately and his bail forfeited, as this post clearly shows that he’s a “danger to the public.” This means that this particular pharma bro is being incarcerated ahead of schedule.

For his part, Shkreli apologized to the court, and claimed that he’s not a violent person. His defense – that the comments were protected by American free speech laws – was flat-out rejected. Remarkably, his lawyer argued that Donald Trump has tweeted and said similarly awful things, exclaiming that the President isn’t in jail, so why should Shkreli be punished?


“He doesn’t have to apologize to me,” Matsumoto told reporters. “He should apologize to the government, the Secret Service and Hillary Clinton.”

All in all, he faces 20 years behind bars for his fraud charges.

After the drug price hike – and the purchase of the most expensive album ever made – propelled him to infamy, Shkreli was arrested by the FBI for investment fraud, which meant that he had gained investors on the basis of false information. Ultimately, he was charged on two counts of fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.

The start of the trial took longer than anyone expected because it was difficult finding jurors that were impartial. One described him as “the most hated man in America.” Others took a different approach. “He disrespected the Wu-Tang Clan,” one noted.


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