back to article Pharma bro Martin Shkreli to miss 2024 Paris Olympics

Former finance and pharmaceutical exec Martin Shkreli has been ordered to spend the next seven years in prison. The notorious businessman and troll known as "pharma bro" was given the sentence on Friday by Judge Kiyo Matsumoto in the New York Eastern District Court. He faced up to 15 years for multiple counts of wire and …

  1. ratfox Silver badge
    Angel

    Justice is not always as blind as it should be

    I believe that if he had not been such a controversial person, publicly making unpopular business decisions, he might have been treated differently by the legal system, and spent less time in prison.

    And it couldn't have happened to a nice guy!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

      I believe that if he had not been such a controversial person, publicly making unpopular business decisions, he might have been treated differently by the legal system, and spent less time in prison.

      I can't speak for the US system, but in the UK the judges I've known would treat him in exactly the same way as anybody else. There's exceptions on both sides of the Atlantic, but I suspect the majority of US judges are like most UK judges - clever, unemotional, work within their remit and sentencing "guidelines".

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

        If the judge had been influenced, why not give him the maximum sentence? I know I would have had I been responsible for sentencing, which is probably why it is a good thing I'm not a judge.

        Hell, I would have looked for a reason to sentence him to 107 years, because I think society would be better off if he never had a chance to be a part of it any longer!

        1. Naselus

          Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

          "If the judge had been influenced, why not give him the maximum sentence?"

          In order to not appear influenced.

          There's a genuine argument to be made that Shkreli's odious public persona may have helped him avoid the most serious sentence, since the judge will have compensated for his inevitable personal dislike of the little shit, and may have gone too far in the other direction. There's been a few studies that suggest this happens a fair bit, along with other studies that show the inverse - likable or personally charming people being given longer than average sentences for crimes.

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

            So if I'm ever going to be sentenced for a crime I should be an asshole to the judge, hoping he compensates for it by giving me a shorter sentence than if I was polite? Seems like a risky strategy!

      2. Anomalous Cowshed

        Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

        Judges clever? Doling out justice? When was the last time you were in court, Sir?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

          "When was the last time you were in court, Sir?"

          Since you ask, about 30 years but plenty of times before then. In a professional capacity of course. And yourself?

    2. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

      "Pharma bro Martin Shkreli to miss 2024 Paris Olympics"

      Surely he will be out on probation well before then

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

        Probably, but one can always hope he will be as big of a smug asshole in his probation hearings as he is the rest of the time, and serve the full seven years!

      2. GBE

        Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

        Surely he will be out on probation well before then

        If you're talking about parole, that doesn't exist in the federal system. He could get up to 14% off his sentence for good behavior.

        Probation is a sentence imposed by the judge. Sometimes a sentence involves both incarceration and then afterwards probation.

      3. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

        Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

        The Federal Justice system in the US has NO PAROLE or "Out on Good Behaviour"!

        He will serve the entire 7 years!

        What he SHOULD BE doing now is PRAYING that he doesn't get sent to an open-plan

        SuperMax or even plain-jane Maximum penn.... as his white-washed tush is a BIG RIPE

        TARGET for a long wringing by multiple inmates name Bubba and Killa.

        Based upon a his puny stature, he will last a few days before he is made

        someone's "girlfriend" and subject to multiple introductions to "The Real World"

        of American Prison Life!

        1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
          Megaphone

          Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

          "he will last a few days before...."

          Yeah, because that's justice too, eh? You know, the more I look at this the more I become convinced that there is something fundamentally wrong with American notions of fairness and justice. You seem to think that the only crimes worth punishing are ones that white people commit against wealth, or any minor misdemeanor committed by black or Hispanic people. The measure of punishment against these two groups is clearly grossly disproportionate and the sentences can be 'negotiated' provided you have sufficient access to the Almighty Dollar.

          It's seriously demented, but that's ok because you can always "PRAY" in capital letters and that makes everything alright.

          If god actually exists, with or without his son who preached forgiveness, inclusion, tolerance and love, then I bet they are face-palming every time they have to look at what you've become.

          Take a step back, take a deep breath, and start your nation over please.

    3. Not That Andrew

      @ AC Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

      Oh, you sweet summer child. Never change.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

      "I believe that if he had not been such a controversial person, publicly making unpopular business decisions, he might have been treated differently by the legal system, and spent less time in prison."

      Yup. If he hadn't done bad stuff he wouldn't have broken the law and been charged.

    5. J. R. Hartley

      Re: Justice is not always as blind as it should be

      He disrespected the Wu-Tang Clan.

      There's no coming back from that.

    6. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Trollface

      "I took down Martin Shkreli."

      True that, bro.

      And we couldn't have done it without you.

      Seriously though, you have to wonder how many others do exactly what he's done but don't attract attention and keep in on the DL.

  2. Sam Therapy
    Happy

    Couldn't happen to a nicer bloke.

  3. fobobob

    Couldn't have happened to a nicer, um, festering heap of subhuman refuse...?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A Grade A sociopathic cunt. Shame it's only 7 years.

      1. macjules Silver badge

        A downvote as a c**t is useful.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I don't think a sociopathic one would be. Or at least you wouldn't want to take the risk.

        2. J. R. Hartley

          Not for me, macjules. Downvote applied accordingly.

  4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Voyna i Mor

      Re: We should start a Go Fund Me campaign

      No. This is not funny.

      People are sentenced to prison for crimes. Extrajudicial punishment should never be part of that. The idea that somehow the psychopaths and sociopaths in prison should be allowed to take it out on prisoners who some people think deserve worse treatment than the system provides should be deeply offensive to anyone who believes in democracy.

      Shkreli seems to be a sociopath, possibly with psychopathic tendencies. There is obviously something missing in his brain. He simply does not see any reason not to do something which might benefit him personally, no matter who it hurts.

      But he was only able to do that because other people let him. The solution to Shkreli is not to abuse him in prison; that will solve nothing. The solution is perhaps to identify people with those personality traits and keep them away from jobs which they can leverage to obtain power over others.

      But that's hard work, and people like simple solutions. Simple solutions which, looking at human history, have never really worked. For instance, getting rid of Nero did not exactly give Rome a period of enlightened government.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We should start a Go Fund Me campaign

          > The proven highly respected KISS principle

          Of course, the KISS principle is itself a (pop-culture) simplification of the more detailed formulation that can be paraphrased as "as simple is can be, but no simpler", which in turn removes detail that will be superfluous to someone versed in the respective fields.

          We also call it abstraction sometimes.

        2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: We should start a Go Fund Me campaign

        The solution is perhaps to identify people with those personality traits and keep them away from jobs which they can leverage to obtain power over others.

        About every 4 or 5 years, we have an opportunity clear the house - but the slippery buggers manage to get back in

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: We should start a Go Fund Me campaign

          That's because in our system we only get a choice between two sociopaths. Other countries have different electoral systems where you get choices between multiple sociopaths, and I suppose if the numbers are high enough occasionally a non-sociopath manages to slip onto the ballot somehow - though you'd still have to identify him/her and overcome people's tribal instincts when it comes to voting to actually put that non-sociopath into office.

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            That's because in our system we only get a choice between two sociopaths.

            1043 days till the US gets another chance to not f**k things up and vote for another comb over clown.*

            *That should have read "Deeply respected statesman." Apologies for any distress caused.

      3. Naselus

        Re: We should start a Go Fund Me campaign

        "Shkreli seems to be a sociopath, possibly with psychopathic tendencies. There is obviously something missing in his brain. He simply does not see any reason not to do something which might benefit him personally, no matter who it hurts."

        I honestly wondered sometimes whether he was engaged in some kind of performance art, pointing out the flaws of unrestricted capitalism running riot throughout society. He was just too much of a comic-book villain; he reveled in the hatred to the point where it was actually unrealistic that anyone could be that much of a shit. But then those kids developed a drug which did the same thing as his $750 one, which is exactly what ought to happen in a functional market system, and rather than applaud it he threw a hissy fit.

        So yeah, just a sociopathic asshole.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: We should start a Go Fund Me campaign

          You all make it sound like being a psychopath is a bad thing. At various points in our history bold, uninhibited and mean individuals have been extremely useful - did it matter that Churchill was a mean drunk who didn't care what anyone thought?

  5. The Dogs Meevonks

    7 years... is that including time served or time off for good behaviour... So could the time spent behind bars be as low as 2 or 3yrs in reality?

    Either way... not long enough.

    1. Justin S.

      Re: is that including time served

      The seven year sentence does not include time served, which is six months at present, bringing his total sentence to 6.5 years. Unlike state prisons, the federal prison system does not offer parole or probation, so he'll serve almost all of that, minus up to 54 days per year for "good behaviour," so he could reduce that to a little more than 5.5 years.

    2. Andy 97

      Those few years in a US prison will hardly be a holiday camp for him.

      I'd suspect that many of the inhabitants will know of someone who's been affected by his price increasing action.

      His fame will also single him out for "additional attention"

      What's also forgotten is that although he's been fined a few million dollars, he still has significant funds earning interest..

  6. Sureo

    "I took down Martin Shkreli"

    Miserable getting caught, isn't it?

    1. vir

      Re: "I took down Martin Shkreli"

      And he would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for that meddling Martin Shkreli!

  7. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Angel

    Poetic Justice

    Would be for him to fall ill while there, but be denied medication because it was too expensive.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Poetic Justice

      Justice - no.

      Karma is a bitch - oh yeah.

      1. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Poetic Justice

        Now, come forward, come on, who called the Karma Police ?

        I have this medal for you ...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I do hope he runs into people in prison who's relatives need lifesaving medicine but it's just too damn expensive.

    He just slipped on a bar of soap and just happened to land arse first on a pool cue.

  9. Sykowasp

    Diddums.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    7 years is fair...

    We reserve the right to increase it by 5000% on a whim though.

  12. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    Chessboxin 2 - The Sequel

    Cognitive bias rhymes with the law is an ass. #itreallydoespainmetosayit

  13. Colin Ritchie

    Take a bow.

    I keep hearing a Rhianna song, every time this piece of news comes up,please make it stop!

  14. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Did the price come back down on the drug? I would like to think so... but given the nature of this ass it probably hasn't.

    1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

      Daraprim price

      A quick bit of googling finds a number of online pharmacies, allegedly licenced etc. who sell the allegedly genuine stuff for about $1.10 per tablet, although it seems that a generic version is available in India for about 7 cents.

      Could we please increase the 7 years to 7 millenia?

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Daraprim price

        And a bit of an update...

        Those online pharmacies are based in Canada. Another site suggests Daraprim is available in Walmart at $4700 for six tablets. So Shiteli's spirit seemingly lives on in the company.

        700 millenia?

    2. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge
      FAIL

      No, it hasn't, and nor will it most likely.

      Shkreli wasn't arrested for putting thousands of aids patients at risk of death, that's not a crime in the US. Instead, he made the error of taking money from rich people and using it like they would, and therein lies the crime he was charged with.

      Inflate a drug price to a level where only the rich can afford it? No crime.

      Steal money from rich people? Down you go.

      America. Fuck you.

  15. Jamesit

    Great news. I wish it had happened sooner and for the drug price hikes.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Securities fraud sure, but what actually got him famous was the price hiking of drugs that lives depended on. That practice was ingrained in his firm and went completely unpunished. The company boss got away scot free.

    1. Scroticus Canis
      Unhappy

      Price Hiking of Drugs only in the US of A

      It's not just this oxygen thief's fault that he could hike the drug's price; that action was enabled by the USA drugs patent system blocking the generic drug from the American market.

      $750 a pill in the USA while 10¢ a pill as the top end price just about everywhere else. American democracy in action or inaction?

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Price Hiking of Drugs only in the US of A

        Tackling the abuses of big Pharma is a tricky one. Before Shiteli came along the company were selling the pills at $13.50, and we know that the Indians can produce them for less than 10 cents. At first glance that doesn't look good (or probably at second glance too).

        We could have a regulator for the prices of drugs. That would have to allow for a number of factors when setting a 'fair' price.

        - manufacturing cost

        - direct R&D costs

        - element of R&D costs for failed drugs

        - what it treats

        - how effective it is

        - how many people can benefit

        - a fair return on investment

        That would make for tricky calculations!

        An automatic right for other companies to manufacture a drug on payment of a fair licence fee would also help.

        1. Voyna i Mor

          Re: Price Hiking of Drugs only in the US of A

          "We could have a regulator for the prices of drugs. That would have to allow for a number of factors when setting a 'fair' price."

          You have just described NICE.

      2. gnasher729 Silver badge

        Re: Price Hiking of Drugs only in the US of A

        "$750 a pill in the USA while 10¢ a pill as the top end price just about everywhere else. American democracy in action or inaction?"

        This sick bastard was and is trying to keep sick people from getting treatment.

        An unscrupulous but rational business man would have figured out how to maximise profit. At $4,500 for six pills, he isn't going to have many customers. At that price, it would be a lot cheaper to take a flight to London, take six pills, and fly home (perfectly legal), or take a flight to London, buy 60 tablets, hide them in your suitcase and take them home (not legal, but they are not going to re-train their drug sniffer dogs to catch you). Or of course order from Canada. $20, $50 or maybe even $100 would have maximised profits.

        1. Bilious

          Generic drugs

          With ancient generic drugs the prices may fall so low that maintenance of market presence becomes unprofitable. So some price adjustments are justifiable.

          Pyrimethamine has been available from 1953 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrimethamine). How could that qualify for a patent in the USA? I would think there are more persons than Martin Shkreli who should be investigated or shamed.

          1. fandom Silver badge

            Re: Generic drugs

            If I remember the story right, they were the only ones making the drug because there wasn't enough of a market for it for generic drug makers to bother producing it.

            In this case patents didn't have anything to do with the monopoly.

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: Generic drugs

              there wasn't enough of a market for it for generic drug makers to bother producing it.

              And this isn't particularly uncommon. I can't get one of my glaucoma medications at the moment because there's a "nationwide shortage", according to the pharmacy, with no projected end date.

              Pharmaceutical markets are relatively inflexible. Yes, pharma companies advertise, but there's only so much you can do to recruit new customers. And the products are fairly heavily regulated, and there are other distortions (such as insurance company formularies). Personally I'm glad most of those distortions exist, but I recognize that it does mean generics manufacturers are sometimes going to predict that a particular drug is no longer likely to be profitable.

  17. beep54
    Unhappy

    Apparant moral here

    is that you can screw over sick people all you want but NEVER rich people.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Unfortunately, that is not news.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Apparant moral here

      is that you can screw over sick people all you want but NEVER rich people.

      Or, as Al Capone and Leona Helmsley found out "you can screw over people all you want but NEVER the tax man"

    3. Geoffrey W Silver badge

      Re: Apparant moral here

      Been known for a long time..."It's the same the whole world over/.../It's the rich wot gets the pleasure/It's the poor wot gets the blame."

      Plus ca change.

  18. Daggerchild Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    WuTang album now in Government hands

    "We have top men working on it. Top. Men."

    1. Voidstorm
      Big Brother

      Re: WuTang album now in Government hands

      Meanwhile, Bill from Inventory Management Operations is relocating pallet number 65535 into Silo B.

      Just to the left of the Ark of the Covenant, and the Lost Mayan Tablets. ;)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What goes around...

    Hopefully just the tip of the iceberg of him getting what’s coming to him.

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. unwarranted triumphalism

    'Justice' in America

    His only crime was to go public with what he and everyone else was doing.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: what he and everyone else was doing.

      Who among us can say they've never bought a pharmaceutical company and then raised the prices of it's products by 100s of percent?

      Just me?

      1. Andrew Moore Silver badge

        Re: what he and everyone else was doing.

        Hang on, let me check and I'll get back to you...

  22. Matthew Taylor
    Coat

    A contrary view

    The hate on here for Shkreli is wildly disproportionate in my view. So he hiked a drug price - the US pharmaceutical industry does that all the time, especially with medicines that are not widely used. Shkreli was astoundingly arrogant, utterly tone deaf to how his pronouncements would go down with the public, and to be honest, had a really annoying face. But he's not ISIS, or a child murderer, and in fact he did do some genuine medical research at various points. Let's retain a bit of proportion. (Donning my asbestos lined coat)

    1. stephanh Silver badge

      Re: A contrary view

      Shkreli did what everybody in pharma does, just with worse PR.

      Cue the recent news about Hepatitis C treatment Sovaldi.

      https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/New-Hepatitis-C-drug-99-cheaper-in-India/articleshow/39719323.cms

      I suppose Shrekli's real "crime" was to draw unwanted attention to this state of affairs.

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: A contrary view

      The hate on here for Shkreli is wildly disproportionate in my view.

      What determines the appropriate proportion of hate?

      Hate is an emotional response. Shkreli appears to be very successful at provoking it. Such is human nature.

      What's important is whether the actual social response is proportionate. In US terms, Shkreli's sentence is not especially heavy (though it might certainly be argued that US prison sentences in general are disproportionate across industrialized democracies).

      Assuming the 88% rule (average time served for Federal inmates) applies, Shkreli will end up behind bars for about 74 months. That's on par with the average drug offender.

  23. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  24. scrubber

    Everyone got their money back, right?

    Seems like he's being punished for not this. That's not how justice works. But he plead guilty so that's that.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    there's a number of AMA videos he's done on youtube

    they're a masterclass in "i dindu nuffin"

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