Saturday, 10 March 2018

'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli former drug firm executive sentenced to seven years

Martin Shkreli, the former drug firm executive found guilty of defrauding investors, has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

The 34-year-old wept at a hearing as a federal court judge in Brooklyn, New York, handed down the prison term.

Shkreli was convicted last year of sending fake account statements to investors while concealing huge losses from two hedge funds he ran.

He first became notorious in 2015 for hiking the price of a lifesaving drug.

His lawyers had asked the judge to impose a sentence of 12 to 18 months, while prosecutors were seeking at least 15 years.

"I've got my begging voice on," Shkreli's lawyer Benjamin Brafman told the judge on Friday, while acknowledging his client could be annoying.

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

An uncharacteristically apologetic Shkreli said in court: "There is no conspiracy to take down Martin Shkreli.

"I took down Martin Shkreli with my disgraceful and shameful actions."

In 2015 the youthful executive made headlines after he founded Turing Pharmaceuticals, bought the anti-parasitic drug Daraprim and raised its price by 5,000% to $750 (£540) per pill.

The medication is used to treat Aids patients, the pregnant and elderly. Price gouging is not illegal or even unusual in the US pharmaceutical industry.

BBC       News.