‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli, 39, has been released from his prison sentence early on Wednesday – serving five years of a seven-year stretch behind bars.
His attorney Ben Brafman, said in a statement to the New York Post: ‘I am pleased to report that Martin Shkreli has been released from Allenwood prison and transferred to a BOP halfway house after completing all programs that allowed for his prison sentence to be shortened.’
Shkreli, who once led Vyera Pharmaceuticals, was sentenced to prison in 2018 for defrauding investors by lying to them about the performance of two hedge funds he ran, withdrawing more money from those funds than he was entitled to get, and defrauding investors in a drug company, Retrophin, by hiding his ownership of some of its stock. He was convicted of three of the eight federal charges.
In 2015, he became infamous for suddenly raising the price of the drug Daraprim in 2015 by 5,000 percent – from $13.50 a pill to $750. The drug treats toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that threatens people with weakened immune systems.
He was seen wearing a gray sweatshirt and pants upon his early release from prison and a man named Edmund Sullivan claimed to have picked him up and posted photos of the two together in the car.
Shkreli also posted a photo to his Facebook page, showing himself in the backseat of the car, writing: ‘Getting out of real prison is easier than getting out of Twitter prison.’
‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli, 39, has been released from his prison sentence early on Wednesday
The pair seemed to stop at a restaurant for a bite to eat on the way to the halfway house
He was barred from ever working in the pharmaceutical industry again as a result of his fraud case. In addition, he still has to pay nearly $65million to seven states – New York, California, Illinois, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia – that sued him for antitrust violations.
The states alleged in their case that his company hiked the price of Daraprim and illegally created ‘a web of anticompetitive restrictions’ to prevent other companies from creating cheaper generic versions. Among other things, they alleged, Vyera blocked access to a key ingredient for the medication and to data the companies would want to evaluate the drug´s market potential.
In a 130-page decision, Cote faulted Shkreli for creating two companies that were designed to monopolize drugs so he could profit ‘on the backs’ of patients, doctors and distributors.
‘Shkreli was no side player in, or a ‘remote, unrelated’ beneficiary of Vyera’s scheme,’ Cote wrote in a 135-page opinion.
‘He was the mastermind of its illegal conduct and the person principally responsible for it throughout the years.’
She said the Daraprim scheme was ‘particularly heartless and coercive,’ and a lifetime industry ban was needed because of the ‘real danger’ that Shkreli could become a repeat offender.
‘Shkreli’s anticompetitive conduct at the expense of the public health was flagrant and reckless,’ the judge wrote. He is unrepentant. Barring him from the opportunity to repeat that conduct is nothing if not in the interest of justice.
‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli has been released from his prison sentence early – serving five years of a seven-year stretch behind bars
New York Attorney General Letitia James, who was among the states suing Skreli, praised the ruling.
‘Envy, greed, lust, and hate, don’t just separate, but they obviously motivated Shkreli and his partner to illegally jack up the price of a life-saving drug as Americans’ lives hung in the balance,’ said James.
‘But Americans can rest easy because Martin Shkreli is a pharma bro no more.
‘A federal court has not only found that his conduct was illegal, but also banned this convicted criminal from the pharmaceutical industry for life and required him to pay nearly $65million.
‘This is on top of the $40million we’ve already secured from Vyera.
‘The rich and powerful don’t get to play by their own set of rules, so I it seems that cash doesn’t rule everything around Mr. Shkreli.
‘New Yorkers can trust that my office will do everything possible to hold the powerful accountable, in addition to fighting to protect their health and their wallets.’
This is a developing story
How ex-hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli fell from grace
Martin Shkreli became known as the ‘most hated man in America’ after he bought up the rights to lifesaving AIDs drug Daraprim in 2014 and raised the price from $13.50 per pill to a staggering $750 per pill.
In 2018, he was sentenced to seven years in prison on an unrelated matter for lying to investors about the performance of two hedge funds he ran, withdrawing more money from those funds than he was entitled to get, and defrauding investors in a drug company, Retrophin, by hiding his ownership of some of its stock.
Shkreli was ordered to forfeit $7.3 million as part of his unrelated prison sentence and is due to be released from prison in September 2023.
At the time of his 2015 arrest for lying to investors, Shkreli was already notorious for hiking the price of Daraprim by 4,000 percent.
Daraprim is used to treat toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that can be fatal to people with the AIDS virus or other immune-system disorders including malaria and cancer.
He was also known for attacking critics on social media under the guise of ‘Pharma Bro’ and of putting a $5,000 bounty on a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair.