Martin Shkreli Sentenced To 7 Years In Prison For Fraud
Martin Shkreli earned himself no favors in the Hip-Hop community when he came into possession of the Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon A Time In Shaolin, an LP of which there is reportedly only one copy in existence. The former hedge-fund manager and pharmaceutical business investor (coined “Pharma Bro”) first made waves when his former company, Turing Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of the HIV/AIDS medication Daraprim to $750 a pill from $13.5. He eventually became embroiled in legal troubles stemming from his alleged shady dealings and fraudulent business, earning him the dubious honor of being one of the most hated men in the country. All of that made the fact that he was the sole owner of a one-of-a-kind Wu LP a bitter pill to swallow. However, just days after a judge ruled that Shkreli has to turn over the coveted album, there is cause for more celebration: he’s been sentenced to seven years in prison.
As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Shkreli was today (March 9) given a seven-year sentence for “defrauding investors in two failed hedge funds.” The formal charge is securities fraud and the conviction was handed down by U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto. According to the report, Shkreli cried in court and told the judge “I want the people who came here today to support me to understand one thing, the only person to blame for me being here today is me. I took down Martin Shkreli.” His attorney, Benjamin Brafman, reportedly told Judge Matsumoto “that he sometimes wants to hug Shkreli and sometimes wants to punch him in the face.”
However, as the judge made clear, Shkreli’s sentencing had nothing to do with his “self-cultivated public persona … nor his controversial statements about politics or culture.” Rather, Matsumoto called his crimes serious and agreed with prosecuting attorneys that “the 34-year-old was a master manipulator who conned wealthy investors.”
Earlier this week, Shkreli was ordered to forfeit his assets, including the $2 million Wu-Tang Clan album. During his ownership of the album which the public learned of in 2014, Martin publicly criticized Wu’s RZA and Ghostface Killah for remarks surrounding the executive’s price-gauging and demeanor. At one point, Shkreli went as far as threatening Ghost’ in a bizarre 2016 video, and as well as a warning he was considering erasing G.F.K.’s verses from the album.
Yesterday, appearing on The Breakfast Club, Wu-Tang Clan member U-God dismissed the album as “chunky,” due to its assembly of a la carte verses.
In addition to his prison sentence, Shkreli will be forced to pay a $75,000 fine.