Ex-pharma exec Martin Shkreli sentenced to 7 years in prison

By Sam Howard  |  Updated March 9, 2018 at 5:11 PM
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March 9 (UPI) -- Martin Shkreli, a former pharmaceutical executive who hiked the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000 percent -- and was later convicted on three counts related to securities fraud -- was ordered Friday to serve seven years in prison.

Judge Kiyo Matsumoto sentenced Shkreli on the convictions in New York federal court Friday afternoon.

A jury convicted Shkreli in August on charges he ran a Ponzi scheme from 2009 to 2014 and bilked investors out of $11 million.

During the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Smith said Shkreli "has no respect for the law."

Shkreli came to unrelated notoriety in 2015 after his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, hiked the price of HIV medication Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 per tablet. The drug is also used to treat non-HIV-related patients with compromised immune systems.

Shkreli, 34, gave a tearful plea for forgiveness in court Friday to the investors he was convicted of conning.

"I am terribly sorry I lost your trust," he said. "You deserved far better."

Prosecutors wanted at least 15 years for Shkreli, while defense attorneys asked for no more than 18 months.

Matsumoto awarded credit for six months Shkreli has already served while awaiting his sentence.

"I am disappointed," Benjamin Brafman, Shkreli's attorney, said after the sentencing. "I think it is hard to claim victory when someone like Martin Shkreli is going to jail."

Brafman told Matsumoto that his client has depression and anxiety and has been misunderstood. He did, however, say that Shkreli can be frustrating.

"There are times when I want to hold him and hug him," he said. "And there are times when I want to punch him in the face."

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