Judge Rules No on 'Delusional' Martin Shkreli Request

Convicted 'Pharma Bro' wanted to be let out early to do coronavirus research in NYC
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2020 9:29 AM CDT
Judge on Shkreli's Offer to Fight Virus: No Thanks
In this Aug. 15, 2017, photo, Martin Shkreli is interviewed on the Fox Business Network in New York.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Martin Shkreli is still serving the seven-year sentence handed down to him in 2017 for defrauding investors, but the convicted pharmaceuticals executive was hoping he'd found a temporary way out. Per the Washington Post, attorneys for the man best known as "Pharma Bro" filed a request last month to have him released for three months, "under strict supervision," to his fiancee's New York City apartment so he could research the coronavirus, as he feels that the pharmaceutical industry's quest for a treatment has so far been "inadequate." He also noted in his request that he is "one of the few executives experienced in ALL aspects of drug development," and therefore the perfect candidate to work on a treatment. US District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto ruled Saturday on Shkreli's request, and for her, it was a no, calling his reasoning a "delusional, self-aggrandizing" one.

"The court does not find that releasing Mr. Shkreli will protect the public, even though Mr. Shkreli seeks to leverage his experience with pharmaceuticals to help develop a cure for COVID-19 that he would purportedly provide at no cost," Matsumoto wrote in her nine-page ruling, per NPR. Matsumoto noted there've been no reported cases of COVID-19 among either inmates or staff at the low-security Pennsylvania prison where Shkreli is incarcerated, and that there's no evidence he has any significant health concerns, the AP reports. There was one other issue Matsumoto had with Shkreli's ask. "Defendant requests to be released into, among other places, an apartment in New York City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic," she wrote, per the Post. The official comment from Shkreli's camp on the ruling, via his own attorney: It was a "not unexpected" decision, but they're still "disappointed." (More Martin Shkreli stories.)

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