NEW YORK — Sep 13, 2017, 8:58 PM ET

'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli has bail revoked, heads to jail


A judge jailed former pharmaceuticals company CEO Martin Shkreli on Wednesday after finding that he violated his bail on a securities fraud conviction with a social media posting she agreed posed a threat to Hillary Clinton.

Defense attorneys had argued at a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn that the post by Shkreli, offering a $5,000 bounty to anyone who could grab him one of Clinton's hairs while she's on a book tour, was political satire. But U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto didn't see the humor, saying the offer could be taken seriously by fellow Clinton detractors.

The Clinton offer could be viewed as "a solicitation of an assault," the judge said before revoking Shkreli's $5 million bail.

"This is not protected by the First Amendment," the judge said. "... There's a risk that somebody may take him up on it."

The government had told the judge that the message had alarmed the Secret Service detail that protects Clinton, a Democratic former presidential candidate and first lady. It also argued that it fit a pattern of veiled threats against female journalists who rebuffed Shkreli's social media advances and of taunts aimed at prosecutors in his case.

On Monday, Shkreli, often called the Pharma Bro, wrote to the court apologizing for his behavior, saying, "I am not a violent person."

But for the judge, it was too little, too late.

"He doesn't have to apologize to me," she said. "He should apologize to the government, the Secret Service and Hillary Clinton."

Shkreli watched in silence as the hearing unfolded and sometimes put his head down and appeared to scribble notes. After the judge's ruling, he remained expressionless as deputy U.S. marshals led him out a side door of the courtroom without handcuffing him.

Defense attorney Ben Brafman said outside court he was disappointed in the judge's decision.

"We believe the court arrived at the wrong decision, but she's the judge and right now we will have to live with this decision," he said.

Shkreli, who is best known for hiking up the price of a life-saving drug and for trolling his critics on social media, was found guilty last month on charges, unrelated to the price-fixing scandal, that he cheated investors in two failed hedge funds he ran. The defense had argued that investors got their original investments back and even made hefty profits.

Since his 2015 arrest, Shkreli's attorneys have tried and failed to get him to tone down online antics they feared would taint his jury and, after his conviction, hurt his chances for a lenient sentence by giving the court the impression he wasn't taking his situation seriously. Along with the Clinton flap, reports surfaced that he was trying to auction off what he claims is a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album he bought for $2 million.

For now, Shkreli will await his Jan. 16 sentencing at a federal jail in an industrial part of Brooklyn instead his Manhattan apartment, which was a familiar backdrop for his live-streamed bluster. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, though the term could end up being shorter under federal sentencing guidelines.

The government sought to get Shkreli locked up as a danger to the community amid the fallout from his social media post, which read: "The Clinton Foundation is willing to KILL to protect its secrets. So on HRC's book tour, try to grab a hair from her. I must confirm the sequences I have. Will pay $5,000 per hair obtained from Hillary Clinton."

The defense insisted it was merely a tasteless joke comparable to some of President Donald Trump's derisive comments.

"Indeed, in the current political climate, dissent has unfortunately often taken the form of political satire, hyperbole, parody or sarcasm," the defense's court papers said. "There is a difference, however, between comments that are intended to threaten or harass and comments — albeit offensive ones — that are intended as political satire or strained humor."

News - 'Pharma Bro' Martin Shkreli has bail revoked, heads to jail

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  • Robert Holt

    Turn or burn Martin, turn or burn. Luke 13:3.

  • JockSavant

    He blew his chance to enjoy a little freedom while awaiting sentencing. this likely cost him half a million dollars (10% of 5 million) Proving to the world how stupid he really is. I hope he gets the maximum sentence and does not get any of his bail money back.

  • glynnis bugati

    Nice to have some good news for a change.

  • Fizzbin

    Pharma Bro, meet your new cellmate, "Kielbasa Bro".

  • ProCannonFodder

    So being released on bail means you lose your First Ammendment rights? The guy seems like a tool but seriously? This judge is power tripping and this country used to be free and would never put up with our rights being taken from us in the interest of not offending people.

  • Hank Rutherford Hill

    no fan of thus guy, but please.

  • Aimee

    The poor out of touch "Pharma Bro", desperate for attention, tweets something that lands him in jail. Lucky for him, he'll get plenty of that attention in jail. Dummy.

  • John Michael Davis

    Boy, it really sucks to be Pharma Bro! (LOL)

  • Ric M

    Very curious as to why my previous post was removed. It said, and I quote:

    "Ahh...did the wittle cyber-bully get put in timeout? GOOD!"

  • Chuck Hiker

    Maybe the prison will have a record player and he can listen to his Wu Tang Clan.

  • DB

    This guy will be someone Physiology Thesis one day.

  • Sejal

    Ben Brafman is a lowlife bottom feeder for defending the actions of this man.

  • justinthyme3


  • Keith

    Finally, some good news.

  • arriba65

    Actions have consequences. Whaddaya know.

  • Ron Fuller

    Another afluenza outbreak!

  • rachel441

    How is it even possible that someone this douchey and immature ever actually had people giving him money?

  • beingcurious

    All of this a distraction from his biggest crime: hiking price of an established drug beyond the reach of average Americans.

  • USAF Retired

    Part of the entitled generation who think rules or bail conditions don't apply to them.

  • Damiana

    Good! Now let's hope that this melodrama negates whatever Rich White Privilege would have kept him from getting the maximum sentence!

  • Holly

    Anyone surprised he couldn't act like a normal human being even if his freedom depended on it?

  • Bill William

    He is just like all the other CEOs of pharmaceutical companies who jack up prices 1,000%. They could care less how many people die who cannot afford their medications. They claim it costs them millions of dollars in research but them you look at their profits. What makes Shkreli so obnoxious is his immaturity and childish defiance. He thinks he can give to middle finger to anyone.

  • Fizzbin

    Throw this punk worm into the most violent prison in America and leave him there.

  • TexasVulcan

    If anyone belongs in prison, it's this guy. Too bad his hiking the price of drugs (ones he bought but did not develop) was not a crime too. But then, they got Al Capone for tax evasion instead of murder.

  • Cornelia Beaverhausen

    Nice to see him back where he belongs.

  • G Ruth

    Shkreli was really pushing the limit when the day he was convicted he had that mini Q & A session outside the courthouse & then he went online crowing like he was found not guilty & he's only added to his making a mockery of himself. He proved himself to be a threat to another person whether you like the person or not he was & is still wrong & the boys in prison will just love his candy azz. Shkreli is nothing more than a punk arrogant egotistical fool

  • tatanka

    Someday, Pharma Bro might learn to just sit down and shut up. At least the checks that mouth is writing still clear the bank.

  • CJS

    Government sure tries to silence freedom of speech wherever it can.

  • Rick Sanchez flashback

    Political prisoner.

  • EM Burke

    The defense compared Shrekli to Trump, and Shrekli gets jailed. Finally, some "truth" comes forth.

  • Jamawani

    Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!

  • jkyjks

    maybe he will need medicine in prison. Hope he can't have it, can't pay for it.

  • Big0725

    How amazing delusional this boy is! This action today should tell him that the judge will have no more of his antics. Before today, I thought there would be a slim chance he could face probation. Now I see him doing real time. And not at a "country club" like Martha Stewart.

  • Tom

    A convicted felon out on bail soliciting violence against the former Secretary of State. I hope that will be considered by the parole board for his first, second, third, fourth and fifth hearing.

  • Catherine

    SERIOUSLY WHAT AN [email protected]@ HE'LL GET HIS SOMEDAY.........................