One of the 21st century's most prominent supervillains, Martin Shkreli, might have finally seen the collapse of his dastardly schemes thanks to a recent decision by a federal judge. The price increase for the generic drug, which is used by HIV patients to ward off parasitic infections, won derision from patients, physicians, and many executives at other pharmaceutical companies.
It's hard to parse the most ridiculous aspect of Shkreli's sentencing date, because there were so many, beginning with the fact that the man convicted for defrauding $10 million out of hedge fund investors told the judge that he "was never motivated by money" before ultimately copping to his misdeeds.
A contrite Shkreli, 34, appeared before U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto in federal court in Brooklyn, New York.
After a jury found him guilty in August previous year, Shkreli was allowed to remain free pending sentencing.
He said "the only person to blame for me being here today is me". His defence team asked for a fraction of that, 12 to 18 months, but even that would have been quite a concession for Shkreli who bragged, even after being convicted, that he would spend little to no time in prison.
"He wants everyone to believe that he is a genius, a whiz kid", Jacquelyn Kasulis, a prosecutor said, as she argued for a 15-year sentence.
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Before adjourning court, Judge Matsumoto told Shkreli she hoped he would continue instructing inmates, as he has been doing in jail.
Shkreli gained notoriety when his pharmaceutical company purchased the rights to an AIDS treatment drug called Daraprim and then raised the cost of it by 5,000 per cent. Two counts involve securities fraud and the third count was conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
At the sentencing, prosecutors continued this line of argument.
"There are times when I want to hug him and hold him and comfort him and there are times I want to punch him in the face", lawyer Ben Brafman said, per Bloomberg News. Prosecutors say he deserves at least 15 years behind bars for lying to them.
Shkreli is widely known as the former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, the company that, in 2015, hiked the price of pyrimethamine (Daraprim) from $13.50 to $750 a pill.
The self-promoting pharmaceutical executive notorious for trolling critics online was convicted in a securities fraud case previous year unconnected to the price increase dispute. "He lied to get investors' money, he lied to keep them invested in his funds and he lied once those investors wanted their money back".
Shkreli, who is notorious for his trolling on social media, delivered a tearful apology to the judge and the investors he defrauded.