Martin Shkreli rose to infamy in September of 2015 when his company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, obtained the manufacturing license for the AIDS drug Daraprim, raising its price 5,500 percent, from $13.50 to $750 per pill. In doing so, he garnered the nicknames “the most hated man in America” and “pharma bro,” and was even attacked by Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail. Shkreli did donate to the Sanders campaign, but said it was so that Bernie could purchase an economics book.
Shkreli later explained that the price hike only affected insurance companies who were footing the bill, and that Medicaid patients get 90% off the list price. He also made sure to note that the drug is given away for free to anyone who can’t afford it. In an interview with VICE, Shkreli maintained that since Daraprim is a drug with “only” a $100 million market out of a total pharmaceutical industry that accounts for hundreds of billions of dollars, his price hike isn’t enough to force insurance companies to pass noticeable costs onto consumers.
It was his price-hike controversy that put him on blast in the public eye – but not in the eyes of the law. Later in 2015, he was arrested by the FBI on federal charges of security fraud relating to a hedge fund he used to manage. The case concluded recently with a bizarre result. Essentially, the jury found that while Shkreli misled investors, he did quadruple their money, while only pocketing $30,000 for himself over the course of four years.
After being found guilty of three of the charges against him, he faces 0-6 months in prison, and while Shkreli believes it’s unlikely he’ll spend a day in jail, prosecutors want to see him behind bars for an entirely separate reason. They’re not happy with a recent series of posts the pharma executive made on social media against Hillary Clinton while on bail. Below you can find the offending posts, alongside the commentary of three U.S. attorneys who prosecuted Shkreli, requesting the judge who presided over the trial revoke his bail:
Shkreli responded to the whole ordeal with mockery:
Lol Hillary Clinton’s presumptive agents are hard at work. It was just a prank, bro!
But still, lock HER up. Spend your resources investigating her, not me!!
He also attacked the government for actually using his internet trolling as an excuse to revoke his bail (language warning):
Fuck the government. I will never kiss their ring or snitch. Come at me with your hardest because I haven’t seen anything impressive yet.
But seriously: If you criticize Hillary Clinton or make jokes about the failed candidate, you lose the right to bail? That’s outrageous.
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