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'Pharma Bro' Shkreli set to be sentenced for defrauding investors

11 March 2018

Notorious pharma-villain Martin Shkreli showed a softer side on Friday as he sobbed and pleaded for leniency from a judge sentencing him to federal prison for securities fraud.

U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto handed Shkreli the 7-year sentence after prosecutors requested 15 years and his lawyer asked for 18 months. The crimes, related to stock manipulation of shares in Retrophin, one of Shkreli's companies, and ripping off hedge fund backers, could have carried a sentence of up to 20 years.

Shkreli, who cried as his sentence was handed down, was previous year found guilty on two counts of securities fraud, after lying to his investors to convince them to put more capital into his funds, as well as one count of conspiracy. "(There are) times I want to hug him and hold him, times I want to punch him in the face for some of the things he said".

"I also want to make clear that Mr. Shkreli is not a child", Ms Kasulis said. "He is a man who needs to take responsibility for his actions". "I took down Martin Shkreli", he told the judge in federal court.

Arrested in December 2015, his bail was revoked in September after he offered a reward for anyone who would grab a strand of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's hair. "The "real" Martin Shkreli may not be known to anyone save himself", the prosecution said.

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"Such a finding of loss could justify a 10-year sentence - or longer".

"Whatever adverse media attention he has brought upon himself with his online presence is ... not before me", she said.

Shkreli first became widely known as a pharmaceutical villain for raising the cost of AIDS and cancer drug Daraprim from $13.50 a tablet to $750 a tablet overnight. He was banned from Twitter for harassing journalist Lauren Duca, and drew the ire of music fans after he purchased a one of a kind Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.

Attorney Benjamin Brafman is speaking at the sentencing Friday for the pharmaceutical company CEO on a securities fraud conviction.

While Shkreli was growing a beard and drawing the ire of prosecutors, his former lawyer went to trial.

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Shkreli also withdrew hundreds of thousands of dollars from the funds, far more than was permitted by the partnership agreements.

Some of his supporters sent letters asking Matsumoto not to lay down a harsh sentence.

"I do wish you well", Matsumoto said to Shkreli at the end of the hearing, then encouraged him to seek mental health treatment while incarcerated.

Shkreli had been convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy a month earlier.

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'Pharma Bro' Shkreli set to be sentenced for defrauding investors