Supreme Court won’t hear appeal from ‘pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli

The U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal from former pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli on Monday. Shkreli is serving a seven-year prison sentence stemming from a 2017 conviction for securities fraud, The Hill reported.

The 36-year-old Shkreli was infamously nicknamed “Pharma bro,” due in part to his youth as well as his arrogant attitude and smug demeanor, which won him few fans around the country during his trial.

He was convicted in federal court in 2017 for essentially lying to his investors about the level of success of hedge funds he managed, a conviction that was upheld on appeal to the 2nd Circuit. He was also ordered to forfeit nearly $7.4 million as part of the sentence.

Convicted for defrauding investors

Reuters reported that the rejection of Shkreli’s appeal by the Supreme Court effectively means that he will have to finish out the remainder of his sentence behind bars in federal prison.

Shkreli’s unsuccessful argument for appeal was based on his claim that the instructions given to the jury had been confusing and had undermined his defense of acting in good faith by including mention of the harm his actions had on investors.

He also had argued that, because some of his investors had turned a profit, he shouldn’t have been forced to forfeit the $7.36 million, which he viewed as excessive.

One of Shkreli’s attorneys, Mark Baker, admitted that the appeal was a “long shot” in an interview following the decision. “We’re disappointed, but will move on,” he said.

Raised the price of Daraphim by 5,000%

According to a Fox News report, the “negative publicity” that Shkreli complained about in his appeal may have had a legitimate basis.

As chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, he became infamous after raising the price of an anti-parasite drug Daraphim by 5,000% in 2015. The price for a single dose of Daraphim, which is used by patients suffering from AIDS and cancer, jumped from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

“We are disappointed by the court’s decision and continue to maintain that Martin was never treated fairly by any of the courts that have reviewed his case,” Benjamin Brafman, another of Shkreli’s attorneys, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, there is often a price to pay for notoriety. It is never helpful.”

The Supreme Court declined to provide any reason for why it rejected the appeal.

Eligible for release in 2023

Shkreli will have to serve out the remainder of his sentence in prison. He is currently at a low-security facility in Allenwood, Pennsylvania — The Hill noted he was transferred back in April after it was found that he was running a makeshift pharmaceutical company out of his prison cell — and is not eligible for release until September of 2023.

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