“Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli cried like a baby before he was sentenced to seven years in prison for defrauding investors.
The stiff prison term capped the dramatic fall of the biotech entrepreneur-turned-international villain who gained infamy for jacking up the price of a lifesaving drug for AIDS patients.
“There is no conspiracy to take down Martin Shkreli. I took down Martin Shkreli with my disgraceful and shameful actions,” the sobbing 34-year-old said Friday, his voice cracking and his address interrupted by the judge passing along a box of tissues.
“This is my fault. I am not a victim here.”
Shkreli remained hunched over and expressionless when the sentence was announced. He later flashed an “OK” sign to his family after he rose from the defense table.
But his trademark swagger was gone when he shuffled out of the courtroom in his navy blue prison jumpsuit.
“For years, Shkreli told lie after lie in order to steal his investors’ money, manipulate the stock market and enrich himself,” said Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue.
“He will now pay the price for repeatedly violating the trust placed in him by his investors, his employees and the public.”
The sentence roughly split the difference between the terms requested by Shkreli’s lawyer and the government.
Federal prosecutors had requested at least 15 years after he was convicted of securities fraud and securities fraud conspiracy.
His lawyers argued that he deserved 12 to 18 months. In his typical grating style, Shkreli himself had earlier boasted that he would likely spend mere months at a cushy “Club Fed” prison.
Brooklyn Federal Court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto described Shkreli as a complicated figure — brilliant and generous, as well as scheming and deceptive.
“I accept and believe he is genuinely remorseful,” Matsumoto said.
But “there is a need to make clear not just to Mr. Shkreli but also to other participants that fraud and manipulation are serious offenses that will incur correspondingly serious penalties,” she added.
Shkreli, who was already ordered to forfeit $ 7.36 million, was fined another $ 75,000 and received credit for the nearly six months he has spent behind bars.
Defense lawyer Benjamin Brafman said he was “disappointed” in the outcome.
“It’s hard to claim victory when someone like Martin Shkreli goes to jail,” Brafman said. “Martin’s fine. He will be fine. It could’ve been a lot worse.”
The Sheepshead Bay native transformed into a global pariah in September 2015, when he hiked the price of Daraprim by 5,000%, to $ 750 per pill.
But the criminal case had nothing to do with Daraprim, a drug used to treat infections in people with HIV/AIDS.
It focused on how Shkreli — before becoming the “most hated man in America” — ran his hedge funds and pharmaceutical company.
Shkreli’s notoriety grew as he ridiculed prosecutors, launched biting Twitter attacks on a female journalist and boasted about his wealth.
He was convicted last August of lying to his investors and trying to manipulate his company’s stock prices.
A month after his conviction, the judge revoked his bail and sent him to jail after he fired off a Facebook post offering a $ 5,000 reward for a lock of Hillary Clinton’s hair.
At the sentencing hearing, prosecutor Jacquelyn Kasulis slammed Shkreli as an unrepentant fraudster who cares only about himself and his supersized ego.
“What motivates Martin Shkreli is his own image,” Kasulis said. “He can’t just be an average person who fails, like the rest of us…He needs to be mythical, He needs to be larger than life.”
Brafman, in urging the judge for leniency, also admitted that Shkreli could be infuriating.
“He shouldn’t be sentenced simply for being Martin Shkreli,” Brafman said.
“I’m old enough to be his father…There are times I want to hug him and hold him, times I want to punch him in the face for some of the things he said.”
In a ruling earlier in the week, Matsumoto allowed prosecutors to go after the one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album that Shkreli purchased for a reported $ 2 million.
In his tearful statement to the court, the man worth an estimated $ 27 million said his actions had nothing to do with money.
“I wanted to grow my stature and my reputation,” Shkreli said.
“I am here because of my gross, stupid and negligent mistakes I made.”