'Pharma Bro' Faces High-Stakes Sentencing

Prosecutors want Shkreli to get 15 years
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 9, 2018 12:19 AM CST
This courtroom sketch shows former pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli, left, seated next to his lawyer Ben Brafman in federal court, Friday Feb. 23, 2018 in New York.   (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
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(Newser) – Is "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli a master manipulator who conned wealthy investors or a misunderstood eccentric who used unconventional means to make those same investors even wealthier? A federal judge in Brooklyn will have to weigh the conflicting portrayals of the former pharmaceutical company CEO on Friday at his sentencing on a securities fraud conviction, the AP reports. The stakes are high: The defense wants US District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto to give Shkreli a sentence of 18 months or less because, in the end, his investors in two failed hedge funds got all of their money back and more from stock he gave them in a successful drug company.

Prosecutors say he deserves at least 15 years behind bars for pilfering funds behind his investors' backs to start the drug company and cover up his fraud. In court filings, prosecutors argued that Shkreli's remorse about misleading his investors was not to be believed. "At its core, this case is about Shkreli's deception of people who trusted him," they wrote. The defense suffered a setback earlier this week when the judge ruled Shkreli would have to forfeit more than $7.3 million in a brokerage account and personal assets, including his one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album that he boasted he bought for $2 million. The judge said the property would not be seized until Shkreli had a chance to appeal.

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