ibusinesslines.com March 18, 2018

'Pharma Bro' faces high stakes sentencing in fraud case

10 March 2018, 01:12 | Jodi Jackson

Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli arrives at Federal Court in Brooklyn with his attorney Benjamin Brafman

Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli arrives at Federal Court in Brooklyn with his attorney Benjamin Brafman

"The "real" Martin Shkreli may not be known to anyone save himself", the prosecution said.

Today, Friday 9 March, marks the "day of reckoning" for Martin Shkreli - the USA's "most hated man" aka "Pharma Bro" - with his sentencing due from US District Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, the world will soon learn the fate of the disgraced pharma exec.

According to reporters present in the Brooklyn courtroom, Shkreli gave an emotional and tearful speech prior to his sentencing, taking blame and responsibility for his actions and saying he had changed as a person since his conviction. He was convicted in August of lying to his hedge fund investors and manipulating shares of a biotech company of his. The judge said the property would not be seized until Shkreli had a chance to appeal.

Shkreli is best known for suddenly raising the price of the drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent - from $13.50 a pill to $750 - in 2015.

At his trial past year, Shkreli often wore a smirk and was chastised by the judge for his behavior, including for an incident in which he told reporters that the prosecutors on the case were "junior varsity".

At the hearing, Shkreli had choked up as he said he had learned from his mistakes.

"Mr. Shkreli is not a child", federal prosecutor Jacquelyn Kasulis said.

The judge ruled earlier this week that Shkreli would have to forfeit more than $7.3 million in a brokerage account and personal assets including his one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album that he boasted he bought for $2 million.

Shkreli seemed to treat the case like a big joke. "Will pay $5,000 per hair obtained from Hillary Clinton", he said.

"There are times I want to punch him in the face, because he's made my job more hard by some of the things he's said", Brafman said, according to reporter Stephanie Clifford (not to be confused with the other Stephanie Clifford).

He also infuriated members of Congress at a Capitol Hill hearing on drug prices when he repeatedly cited his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. This was deemed as a demonstration of posing an ongoing danger in the eyes of Judge Matsumoto, who revoked his bail and ordered him to remain behind bars until sentencing. And she spoke about how his family and friends "state, nearly universally, that he is kind and misunderstood" and willing to help others in need. One woman described how she became an avid follower of Shkreli's social media commentary, which she described as being "on par with some form of performance art". She suggested that those who were annoyed by it were missing the point.

Another supporter said Shkreli's soft side was demonstrated when he adopted a cat from a shelter - named Trashy - that became a fixture on his livestreams.

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